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SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT

THE FIRST DECADE OF THE LONDON FILM-MAKERS’ CO-OPERATIVE & BRITISH AVANT-GARDE FILM 1966-76
SPECIAL
EDITION

screens in an oblique formation. single flat screen area. This film works machinery itself which imposes this rela- William Raban & Chris Welsby, River when the children suddenly move from
INTRODUCTION Gill Eatherley literally painted in light well in a conventional film theatre when tionship. The image throughout is com- Yar, 1971-72, colour, sound, 35m one space to the other, ‘through’ the
over extremely long exposures to shoot the top left screen spills over the ceiling posed of straight lines. It need not have Sally Potter, Play, 1971, b/w & colour, frame lines, their originally continuous
Hand Grenade, which runs three differ- and the bottom right projects down over been.” silent, 7m movement is transformed into cinematic
ent edits of the material side-by-side. the audience. It is the same image on all Lis Rhodes, A Perspective on English David Parsons, Mechanical Ballet, 1975, magic.”
The London Film-Makers’ Co-operative The Co-op asserted the significance of Light Music developed into a series of three projectors, a double-exposed flick- Avant-Garde Film catalogue, 1978 b/w, silent, 8m Scott MacDonald, A Critical Cinema
was founded in 1966 and based upon the the British films in line with international enquiries into the nature of optical sound- ering rectangle of the projector gate slid- Chris Welsby, Wind Vane, 1972, colour, 3, 1998
artist-led distribution centre created by developments, whilst surviving hand-to- tracks and their direct relation to the ing diagonally into and out of frame. LINE DESCRIBING A CONE sound, 8m
Jonas Mekas and the New American mouth in a series of run down buildings. abstract image. The film can be shown in Focus is on the projector shutter, hence David Crosswaite, Choke, 1971, b/w & “To be frank, I always felt like a loner, an out-
Cinema Group. Both had a policy of open The physical hardship of the organisa- different configurations, with projectors the flicker. This film is ‘about’ the projec- “Once I started really working with film colour, sound, 5m sider. I never felt part of a community of film-
side-by-side or facing into each other. tor gate, the plane where the film frame is and feeling I was making films, making Malcolm Le Grice, Castle Two, 1968, makers. I was often the only female, or one of
Anthony McCall succinctly demonstrates caught by the projected light beam.” works of media, it seemed to me a com- b/w, sound, 32m few, which didn’t help. I didn’t have a buddy
the sculptural potential of film as a single William Raban, Perspectives on pletely natural thing to come back and thing going, which most of the men did. They
ray of light, incidentally tracing a circle British Avant-Garde Film catalogue, back and back, to come more away from (Total running time approximately 97m) also had rather different concerns, more hard-
on the screen, is perceived as a conical 1977 a pro-filmic event and into the process of edged structural concerns … I was probably
line emanating from the projector. The filmmaking itself. And at the time it all more eclectic in my taste than many of the
beam is given physical volume in the “The first great excitement is finding the boiled down to some very simple ques- English structural filmmakers, who took an
room by use of theatrical smoke, or anyidea, making its acquaintance, and court- tions. In my case, and perhaps in others, absolute prescriptive position on film. Most of
other agent (such as dust) that would ing it through the elaborate ritual of film the question being something like “What them had gone to Oxford or Cambridge or
thicken the air to make it more apparent.
production. The second excitement is the would a film be if it was only a film?” some other university and were terribly theoret-
moment of projection when the film
More than just a film, Line Describing a Carolee Schneemann and I sailed on the ical. I left school at fifteen. I was more the
Cone affirms cinema as a collective becomes real and can be shared with the SS Canberra from Southampton to New hand-on artist and less the academic. The over-
social experience. audience. The former enjoyment is York in January 1973, and when we riding memory of those early years is of mak-
unique and privileged; the second is not, embarked, all I had was that question. ing things on the kitchen table by myself…”
Malcolm Le Grice, Castle One, 1966, and so long as the film exists, it is infi- When I disembarked I already had the Sally Potter interviewed by Scott
Malcolm Le Grice, Castle Two
b/w, sound, 20m nitely repeatable.” plan for Line Describing a Cone fully- MacDonald, A Critical Cinema 3, 1998
William Raban, Take Measure, 1973, William Raban, Arts Council Film- fledged in my notebook. You could say it
colour, silent, (X)m Makers on Tour catalogue, 1980 was a mid-Atlantic film! It’s been the RIVER YAR MECHANICAL BALLET
William Raban, Diagonal, 1973, colour, story of my life ever since, of course,
sound, 6m HAND GRENADE where I’m located, where my interests “The camera points south. The landscape “… I began to forge ideas that explored the
Gill Eatherley, Hand Grenade, 1971, are, that business of “Am I English or am is an isolated frame of space – a wide- making of the work and the procedure of events
colour, sound, 8m “Although the word ‘expanded’ cinema I American?” So that was when I con- angle view of a tidal estuary, recorded and ideas unfolding in space and time.
membership, accepting all submissions tion’s struggle contributed to the rigor- Lis Rhodes, Light Music, 1975-77, b/w, has also been used for the open/gallery ceived Line Describing a Cone and then I during Autumn and Spring. The camera Inevitably, this led to the consideration of the
without judgement, but the LFMC was ous, formal nature of films produced dur- sound, 20m size/multi screen presentation of film, made it in the months that followed.” holds a fixed viewpoint and marks time at filmmaking apparatus as an integral element
unique in incorporating the three key ing this period. While the Structural Anthony McCall, Line Describing A this ‘expansion’ (could still but) has not Anthony McCall, interview with the rate of one frame every minute (day within the construction of the film. Taken liter-
aspects of artist filmmaking: production, approach dominated, informing both the Cone, 1973, b/w, silent, 30m yet proved satisfactory – for my own Mark Webber, 2001 and night) for three weeks. The two ally of course, this applies to the making of any
distribution and exhibition within a single interior and landscape tendencies, the work anyway. Whether you are dealing sequences Autumn and Spring, are pre- film, but I am referring to processes that do not
facility. British filmmakers also made significant (Total running time approximately 93m) with a single postcard size screen or six “One important strategy of expanded cin- sented symmetrically on adjacent attempt to hide the means of production and
innovations with multi-screen films and ema radically alters the spatial discrete- screens. The first Spring sunrise is make the technique transparent, rather the very
Early pioneers like Len Lye, Antony expanded cinema events, producing ness of the audience vis-à-vis the screen recorded in real time (24 fps) for 14 min- opposite. There are many parallels in other cre-
Balch, Margaret Tait and John Latham works whose essence was defined by and the projector by manipulating the utes, establishing a comparative scale of ative fields: the improvisational aspects of
had already made remarkable personal their ephemerality. Many of the works projection facilities in a manner which speed for the Autumn screen, where com- modern jazz, and Exercises in Style by the
films in England, but by the mid-60s fell into the netherworld between film elevates their role to that of the perform- plete days are passing in one minute. wonderful French writer Raymond Queneau.
interest in “underground” film was grow- and fine art, never really seeming at home ance itself, subordinating or eliminating Then both screens run together in stop- These examples spring to mind as background
ing. On his arrival from New York, in either cinema or gallery spaces. the role of the artist as performer. The action until the Autumn screen breaks influences upon what I see now as an essential-
Stephen Dwoskin demonstrated and films of Anthony McCall are the best into a 14 minute period of real time for ly modernist project, in that I was attempting to
encouraged the possibilities of experi- Shoot Shoot Shoot, a major retrospective illustration of this tendency. In Line the final sunset into darkness. Recordings assert the material aspects of making, over what
mental filmmaking and the Coop soon programme and research project, will Describing a Cone, the conventional pri- were made of landscape sound at specific was depicted. So, to turn to the camera to
became a dynamic centre for the discus- bring these extraordinary works back to macy of the screen is completely aban- intervals each day. Each screen has its attempt exhaust all the possibilities of its lens-
sion, production and presentation of life. doned in favour of the primacy of the pro- own soundtrack which mixes with the es, the film transportation mechanism, the shift
avant-garde film. Several key figures such jection event. According to McCall, a other in the space of the cinema.” of the turret, hand holding or tripods mounting,
as Peter Gidal, Malcolm Le Grice, John Curated by Mark Webber screen is not even mandatory: The audi- William Raban & Chris Welsby, NFT as conditioning factors within the films became
Smith and Chris Welsby went onto with assistance from Gregory Kurcewicz ence is expected to move up and down, in English Independent Cinema programme the challenge. The project broadened out with
become internationally celebrated. Many and Ben Cook. and out of the beam – this film cannot be notes, 1972 seemingly endless possibilities offered by the
others, like Annabel Nicolson and the fully experienced by a stationary specta- film printer, the projector, and the screen.”
fiercely autonomous and prolific Jeff Shoot Shoot Shoot is a LUX project. tor. This means that the film demands a “Chris found the location.which was an David Parsons, “Picture Planes”,
Keen, worked across the boundaries Funded by the Arts Council of England multi-perspectival viewing situation, as ex-water mill in Yarmouth on the Isle of Filmwaves No. 2, November 1997
between film and performance and National Touring Programme, the British opposed to the single-image/single-per- Wight, owned by the sons of the historian
remain relatively unknown, or at least Council, bfi and the Esmée Fairbairn spective format of conventional films or A.J.P. Taylor. We managed to get it for an “Several areas of interest intersect in the mak-
unseen. Foundation. the multi-image/single-perspective for- astonishing rent of £5 a week. One of its ing of Mechanical Ballet: an interest in ‘found’
mat of much expanded cinema. The shift upstairs windows happened to look over footage (relating to collage, assemblage), the
of image as a function of shift of per- this river estuary, it was the kind of view manipulation of the film strip and the film
spective is the operative principle of the we were looking for, so it was ideal in
PROGRAMME NOTES “The most important thing still is to let
film. External content is eliminated, and many ways. We’d worked out the concep-
frame, time and duration, projection and the
oneself get into the film one is watching, screen, and the film printing process, to high-
to stop fighting it, to stop feeling the need the entire film consists of the controlled tual model for the film, how we wanted it light some of the main concerns. In the early
to object during the process of experi- line of light emanating from the projec- to look as a two-screen piece, more or
A GUIDE TO THE FILMS IN THE ’70s I began a series of experiments with ways
ence, or rather, to object, fight it, but tor; the act of appreciating the film – i.e., less entirely in advance. We also knew
EXHIBITION of refilming and improvising new constructions
overcome each moment again, to keep ‘the process of its realisation’ – is the what camera we wanted. There was real- with different combinations of frames. Thus
letting oneself overcome one’s difficul- content.” ly only the Bolex camera that would be
“What follows is a set of instructions, new forms emerged from the found material
ties, to then slide into it (one can always Anthony McCall, Line Describing A Cone Deke Dusinberre, “On Expanding suitable for filming it on. I made an elec-
necessarily incomplete, for the construc- that I had selected to use as my base material.
demolish the experience afterwards any- Cinema”, Studio International, tric motor for firing the time-lapse shots
tion, necessarily impossible, of a mosaic. In one work I extended the closing moments of
way, so what’s the hurry?).” November/December 1975 that was capable of giving time exposures
Each instruction must lead to the screen, the tail footage of a film, consisting of less than
the tomb and temple in which the mosaic Peter Gidal, c.1970-71 CASTLE ONE ten-foot screens, the problems are basi- as well as instantaneous exposures. a second of flared out frames, stretching it into
cally the same – to try to establish a more Unknown to us of course, the first period
grows. The instructions are fractured but “The light bulb was a Brechtian device to positively dialectical relationship with
two minutes forty five seconds, 100 foot of
* * * * * * of shooting coincided with the big coal
not frivolous. They are no more than make the spectator aware of himself. I the audience. I am concerned (like many
film. In another I used some early documenta-
miners’ strike, in the Ted Heath govern-
clues to the films which lust for freedom tion of time and motion studies of factory
and re-illumination with, by and of the EXPANDED CINEMA don’t like to think of an audience in the others) with this balance between the DOUBLE SCREEN FILMS ment, so the motor was redundant for workers performing repetitive tasks on machin-
mass, but of the individual observer and audience and the film – and the noetic most of the time; we had to shoot the film
cinema. What follows is not truth, only his behaviour. What he goes through problems involved.”
ery. A speedometer mounted in the corner of
by hand. And it was quite interesting
evidence. The explanation is in the pro- the frame monitored the progress of their
jection and the perception.” British filmmakers led a drive beyond the while he watches is what the film is Gill Eatherley, 2nd International Widening the visual field increased the because we weren’t just making River actions in relation to the time it took to perform
Simon Hartog, 1968 screen and the theatre, and their innova- about. I’m interested in the way the indi- Avant-Garde Film Festival programme opportunity for both spectacle and con- Yar, we were down there for six weeks in their tasks. I found the content both disturbing
tions in expanded cinema inevitably took vidual constructs variety from his percep- notes, 1973 templation. With two 16mm projectors the autumn and three weeks again the fol- and absurd and sought to exemplify this by
“It is often difficult for a venue organis- the work into galleries. After questioning tual intake.” side-by-side, time could be frozen or lowing spring, so we were also making exaggerating the action and ‘stalling’ the moni-
the role of the spectator, they began to Malcolm Le Grice, Films and “Malcolm Le Grice helped me with Hand fractured in a more complex way by play- other work. I was doing a series of tree
er/programmer to determine from written toring process by racking the film back and
examine the light beam, its volume and Filming, February 1971 Grenade. First of all I did these stills, the ing one image against another and creat- prints in a wood nearby. And we invited forth through the gate. The original material
description what an individual or group chairs traced with light. And then I want- ing a magical space between them. Each people down to share the experience with
presence in the room. “… totally Kafkaesque, but also filmical- ed it to all move, to be in motion, so we that formed the basis for Mechanical Ballet was
of film-makers work is ‘about’, from screening became a unique event, accen- us, so Malcolm, Annabel and Gill all
ly completely different from anyone else an anonymous short reel of film of what
where it comes, to what or whom it is In a step towards later complex projection because of the rawness. The Americans started to use 16mm. We shot only a hun- tuating the temporality of the cinematic came to stay.” appeared to be car crash tests. In the original
addressing itself. Equally, it is difficult pieces, for Castle One, Malcolm Le Grice are always talking about ‘rawness’, but dred feet on black and white. It took ages, experience. William Raban, interview with Mark these tests are carried out in a deadpan and
for a film-maker to provide such informa- hung a light bulb in front of the screen. Its it’s never raw. When the English talk actually, because it’s frame by frame. We Webber, 2001
tion from within the pages of a catalogue intermittent flashing bleaches out the about ‘raw’, they don’t just talk about it, shot it in pitch dark, and then we took it River Yar is a monumental study of land-
when for many, including myself, the image, illuminates the audience and lays it really is raw – it’s grey, it’s rainy, it’s to the Co-op and spent ages printing it all scape, nature, light and the passage of
entire project or the area into which one’s bare the conditions of the traditional grainy, you can hardly see what’s there. out on the printer there. This is how I first time. It employs real time and time-lapse
screening arrangement. got involved with the Co-op.” photography to document and contrast
work energy is concentrated, is intent on The material really is there at the same Gill Eatherley, interview with Mark the view of a tidal estuary over two three-
Take Measure, by William Raban, visual- time as the image. With the Germans, it’s
clarifying these kind of questions. The
ly measures a dimension of the space as a high-class image of material, optically Webber, 2001 week periods, in spring and autumn. The
films outside of such a situation become the filmstrip is physically stretched reproduced and glossy. The Americans film stimulates cosmic awareness as each
more or less dead objects, the residue between projector and screen. To make are half-way there, but the English stuff LIGHT MUSIC day is seen to have its elemental events.
(though hopefully a determined residue) Diagonal, he directly filmed into the pro- looked like it really was home-made, arti- Sunrise brings in the light and sunset pro-
of such an all-embracing pursuit.” jector gate and presents the same flicker- sanal, and yet amazingly structured. And “Lis Rhodes has conducted a thorough vides the ultimate fade-out.
Mike Leggett, 1980 ing footage in dialogue across three I certainly thought Castle One was the investigation into the relationship The use of different film stocks, and the
between the shapes and rhythms of lines depiction of twins seen in a twin-screen
most powerful film I’d seen, ever…” and their tonality when printed as sound. format, emphasises the fractured and David Crosswaite, Choke
Peter Gidal, interview with Mark Her work Light Music is in a series of slightly disorientating view from Sally
Webber, 2001 ‘moveable sections’. The film does not Potter’s window in Play. somewhat cumbersome manner. Reworked into
“Malcolm said to me “Ideally in this film have a rigid pattern of sequences, and the David Parsons’ refilming of a stunt car PLAY a two-screen film and divorced from their orig-
there should be a real light bulb hanging final length is variable, within one-hour demonstration pulses between frames, inal context they take on both a sinister and
duration. The imagery is restricted to analytically transforming the motion into “In Play, Potter filmed six children –
next to the screen, but that’s not possi- humorous quality. Using similar techniques to
ble.” And I said “It’s not possible to hang lines of horizontal bars across the screen: a visceral mid-air dance. actually, three pairs of twins – as they the aforementioned films, the repetitive refilm-
there is variety in the spacing (frequen- Wind Vane was shot simultaneously by play on a sidewalk, using two cameras
a light bulb?” He said “Well, I don’t see ing of the original footage in short sections
cy), their thickness (amplitude), and their two cameras whose view was directed by mounted so that they recorded two con-
how we could possibly do this.” I said emphasised the process of film projection.
“Well the only question is how do we turn colour and density (tone). One section the wind. The gentle panning makes us tiguous spaces of the sidewalk. When Somewhat like a child’s game of two steps for-
was filmed from a video monitor that pro- subtly aware of the physical space (dis- Play is screened, two projectors present
it on and off at the right moments? … Are ward and one back, the viewer is made aware of
you able to do that as a live perform- duced line patterns on the screen that var- tance) between the adjacent frames. the two images side by side, recreating the staggered progress of the film through the
ance?” He looked at me like the world ied according to sound signals generated With a rock music soundtrack, Choke, the original sidewalk space, but, of gate. In sharp contrast to the almost strobo-
by an oscillator; so initially it is the sound suggests pop art in its treatment of course, with the interruption of the right
was going to end! And I said “The switch scopic flicker of the rapid movement of the
will be there.”” which produces the image. Taking this Piccadilly Circus at night. Multiply frame line of the left image and the left frames that alternate in small increments of
filmed material to the printing stage, the exposed and treated images mirror each frame line of the right image – that is, so
Jack Moore, interview with Mark light and dark exposures, the image takes on
Webber, 2001 same lines that produced the picture are other or travel across the two screens. that the sidewalk space is divided into new meanings; the distorted reality of two
printed onto the optical soundtrack edge Castle Two immediately throws the view- two filmic spaces. The cinematic division heavy objects (the cars, one on each of the
TAKE MEASURE of the film: the picture thus produces the er into a state of discomfort as one tries to of the original space is emphasized by the screens) ‘dancing’ lightly in space.”
sound. Other material was shot from a assess the situation, and then proceeds a fact that the left image was filmed in
“The thing that strikes me going into a rostrum camera filming black and white long, obscure and perplexing indoctrina- color, the right image in black and white.
David Parsons, 2002
cinema, because it is such a strange space grids, and here again at the printing stage, tion. “Is that coming through out there?” Indeed, the division is so obvious that
and it’s organized to allow you to get the picture is printed onto the film sound-
enveloped by the whole illusion of film, track. Sometimes the picture ‘zooms’ in
when you try and think of it in terms of on the grid, so that you actually ‘hear’ the
real dimensions it becomes very difficult. zoom, or more precisely, you hear an
The idea of a sixty foot throw or a hun- aural equivalent to the screen image. This
dred foot throw from the projector to the equivalence cannot be perfect, because
screen just doesn’t enter into the equa- the soundtrack reproduces the frame lines
tion. So I thought the idea of making a that you don’t see, and the film passes at
piece that made that distance between the even speed over the projector sound scan-
projector and the screen more tangible ner, but intermittently through the picture
was quite an interesting thing to do.” gate. Lis Rhodes avoids rigid scoring pro-
William Raban, interview with Mark cedures for scripting her films. This work
Webber, 2001 may be experienced (and was perhaps
conceived) as having a musical form, but
“Take Measure is usually the shortest of the process of composition depends on
my films, measuring in feet that intangi- various chance operations, and upon the
ble space separating screen from projec- intervention of the filmmaker upon the
tor box (which is counted on the screen film and film machinery. This is consis-
by the image of a film synchronizer). tent with the presentation where the film
Instead of being fed into the projector does not crystallize into one finished
from a reel, the film is strung between form. This is a strong work, possessing
projector and screen. When the film infinite variety within a tightly controlled
starts, the film snakes backwards through framework.”
the audience as it is consumed by the pro- William Raban, Perspectives on
jector.” British Avant-Garde Film catalogue,
William Raban, Perspectives on 1977
British Avant-Garde Film catalogue,
1977 “The film is not complete as a totality; it
could well be different and still achieve
DIAGONAL its purpose of exploring the possibilities
of optical sound. It is as much about
“Diagonal is a film for three projectors, sound as it is about image; their relation-
though the diagonally arranged projector ship is necessarily dependent as the opti-
beams need not be contained within a cal soundtrack ‘makes’ the music. It is the
2 SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT
EDITORIAL WIND VANE infused Swinging London with a fresh “I felt really high with all these people
subversive edge. around. I was kind of a provincial film
placed a contact mike on the floor to pick
up the beat of a motor (rhythm) driving a
CLOCKTIME TRAILER magic. It possesses this sense in its abili-
ty to capture life; to capture movement
“At that time, the automatic gyros on sail- student and the youngest of everyone and circular saw (musical note) while it was “A time truncation film trailer for the and to fracture time and space. The main
SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT boats were run from a wind vane that was Made independently on 35mm, in collab- there were fashion photographers, David being used to saw up books (percussion rather long film called Clocktime. Film characteristics of magic are its indirect
In recent years, my activities as an independent attached through a series of mechanical oration with William Burroughs, Towers Larcher who was very glamorous, there and bending note). The film reaches a made as a totally systematic stream of reference to the culture, and to the past
curator or programmer of ‘avant-garde’ film devices to the rudder. The wind vane Open Fire is rarely considered in histo- was Simon Hartog who was kind of intel- tremendous climax as the increasingly hitherto unrelated events welded together and its derivation from very specific emo-
and video have put me into contact with many actually set itself to the wind and you ries of avant-garde film, despite its exper- tional experiences. Magic’s base is those
individuals and organisations around the adjusted all the gear and that then steered iments in form and representation. It emotional experiences where the truth of
world. Many people would ask me about the the boat in the particular orientation to combines strobe cutting, flicker, degrad- the experience is not revealed by reason-
London Co-op and British filmmakers and I the wind. On various sailing trips, I’d ed imagery and hand-painted film to cre- ing, but by the interplay of these emo-
was embarrassed to have to admit that I didn’t been looking at this thing thinking, ate a visual equivalent to the author’s nar- tions on the individual human…”
know much about the cinematic heritage of “Hmm, that’s really interesting … I won- ration. Simon Hartog & Stephen Dwoskin,
this country. The constant enquiries about der if I could set a camera on something Gloucester Road Groove, featuring “New Cinema”, Counter Culture: The
British work made it clear that there was a sus- like that?” Because, for me the idea of a Simon Hartog and David Larcher, is a Creation of an Alternative Society, 1969
tained interest in, and demand for, the films sailboat travelling from A to B was an spirited celebration of youthful exuber-
made in and around the London Film-Makers’ interesting sort of metaphor for the way ance, the excitement of shooting with a “Soul in a White Room was filmed by
Co-op. that people interacted with nature. In sail- movie camera. Simon Hartog around autumn 1968.
ing, as you may know if you’ve done it, Jeff Keen’s vision is a uniquely British Music on the soundtrack is “Cousin Jane”
Gregory Kurcewicz should be credited with you can’t just go from A to B, you have to post-war accumulation of art history, by The Troggs. The man is Omar Diop-
instigating the present project in 1999. Since adjust everything to which way the tide is comic books, old Hollywood and new Blondin, the woman I don’t recall her
then it just grew and grew. During the early going, which way the wind’s going and collage. Positioned between happenings name. Omar was a student active in 1968
stages of research, the screenings organised by so on and so forth. Hopefully, eventually, and music hall, he performs dada actions during “les evenement de Mai et de Juin”
Felicity Sparrow as part of the Whitechapel’s you would get to B but, really, in between in the “theatre of the brain”. Marvo at the Faculte de Nanterre, Universite de
exhibition “Live In Your Head” provided a time there would have been all sorts of Movie is just one of countless works that Paris. Around this time, Godard was in
valuable opportunity to survey the field. At one other events that would affect that: speed mix live action with animation, but is London shooting Sympathy for the Devil
of those screenings I met Peter Mudie, who of tides, speed of wind, no wind, etc. So notable for its concrete sound by Co-op / One Plus One with the Stones and Omar
had been working on an as-yet-unpublished that seemed to me to be an interesting co-founder Bob Cobbing. was here for that too, appearing with
history of the Co-op. Peter generously gave me metaphor, so then I started building wind Speak, with hypnotic flashing discs and Frankie Y (Frankie Dymon) and the other
an early draft of his manuscript, giving me vanes and attaching cameras to them…” relentless noise track, anticipated many Black Panthers in London ... maybe
access to his years of research and interpreta- Chris Welsby, interview with Mark of the anti-illusionist arguments that the Michael X too. After returning to
tion. David Curtis gave me hours of his time Webber, 2001 Co-op later embodied. The film was Senegal, Omar was imprisoned and killed
and loaned me his archive of documentation made in 1962, but its advanced radical in custody in ’71 or ’72. I believe his fate
from the period (which is now available at the “The spatial exigencies of twin-screen nature made it largely unknown until later is well known to the Senegalese people.”
AHRB Study Centre). Meanwhile, I was projection become of primary importance screenings at Better Books brought Jonathan Langran, interview with
watching every British film the Lux held that in this film because the adjacency of the Latham into contact with like-minded Mark Webber, 2002
was made during this period and going direct screen images is related to the adjacency contemporaries.
to filmmakers to discover and see the obscuri- of the filming technique: two cameras In Dirty, Dwoskin accentuates the dirt HALL
ties and lost gems. were placed about 50 feet apart on tripods and scratches on the film’s surface while
which included wind vane attachments, interrogating the erotic imagery through “Hall manages, in its ten minutes, to put
This project was conceived not only as anoth- so that the wind direction and speed refilming. our perception to a rather strenuous test.
er historical film programme. The elements of determined the direction and speed of the The systematic cutting of Stuart Pound’s Gidal will hold a static shot for quite a
preservation and documentation were very pans of the two freely panning cameras. film, and its cyclical soundtrack, derives long time, and then make very quick cuts
important from the beginning. Many new The landscape images are more or less from a mathematical process that con- to objects seen at closer range. There is
prints, sound masters and internegatives have coincident, and the attempt by the specta- denses a feature length work (Clocktime just a hallway and a room partially visible
been made, a publication is planned and a web- tor to visually conjoin the two spaces I-IV) into a short ‘trailer’. beyond, pictures (one of Godard) on a
site is being constructed as an online research (already conjoined on the screen) sets up Soul in a White Room is a subtle piece of Anthony Balch, Towers Open Fire wall, fruit on a table, and so forth. The
resource. In parallel to the exhibition, a docu- the primary tension of this film. As the social commentary by Simon Hartog, an commonplace is rendered almost monot-
mentary on the Co-op is being made by John cameras pan, one expects an overlap early Co-op activist with a strong politi- onous as we become increasingly famil-
Wyver and Illuminations. between the screens (from one to another) cal conscience. lectual … all sorts of people, wonderful harsh whine of the electric saw combines into a colour interchange frame i.e. image iar with it from a fixed and sustained
but gets only overlap in the screens (when Peter Gidal questions illusory depth and women that would come around, friends, with the frenetic sequence of images and (1), image (2), image (3)… repeat time viewpoint, and then we are disoriented by
AGAINST INTERPRETATION they point to the same object). The adja- representation through focal length, edit- and I was always in awe of them and we flashes of light.” cycle. 6 frames, 1/4 second, then images the closer cuts and also by the sudden
It is not my intention to argue the historical cency of the two spaces is constantly ing and (seeming) repetition in Hall. used to go out to restaurants and that was John A. Walker, John Latham – The move further along their original time prolonged ringing of an alarm. But even
importance of these works, nor do I wish to set shifting from (almost) complete similari- Reign of the Vampire, from Le Grice’s all a very big thing for me. So one Incidental Person – His Art and Ideas, base; a very linear film.” at the point of abrupt disorientation we
up a ‘canon’ of films by which this period ty of field to complete dissimilarity. And paranoiac How to Screw the C.I.A., or evening we went to Dino’s in Gloucester 1995 London Film-Makers’ Co-operative remain conscious of the manipulation
should be measured. I see my role more that of within the dissimilarity of space can be How to Screw the C.I.A.? series, takes the Road and I took the camera. I think I’d distribution catalogue, 1977 applied.”
an excavator, looking around, finding some- more or less contiguous. The shrewd hard line in subversion. Familiar “threat- been using it all day, I just liked cameras DIRTY Gordon Gow, “Focus on 16mm”,
thing interesting and getting it out there so choice of a representational image which ening” signifiers, pornography and and I filmed us going to eat, and we came “I wasn’t particularly interested in mak- Films and Filming, August 1971
people can see it and make their own minds up. exploits the twin-screen format is footage from his other films is overlaid back again, and I still kept filming! “Dirty is remarkable for its sensuousness, ing films about poetry but films that had
I have tried to appear transparent, but Welsby’s strength.” with travelling mattes, united with a loop Gloucester Road was kind of cosmopoli- created partly by the use of rephotogra- got quite a strong sexual charge. For “Demystified reaction by the viewer to a
inevitably the choice of films in such an exhi- Deke Dusinberre, “On Expanding soundtrack, to form a relentless assault. tan, late at night… it was exotic, very phy which enables the filmmaker a sec- instance, in Clocktime Trailer there’s a demystified situation; a cut in space and
bition must be informed to some extent by per- Cinema”, Studio International, exotic, it wasn’t your dour kind of thing ond stage of response to the two girls he woman in it who used to work for the an interruption of duration through (obvi-
sonal taste. I regret that many works have been November/December 1975 Antony Balch, Towers Open Fire, 1963, shot at 5 o’clock or 6 o’clock, Gloucester was filming, partly by the caressing style Other Cinema years ago – Julia ous) jumpcut editing within a strictly
left out despite attempts to be objective and b/w, sound, 16m Road was buzzing.” of camera movement and partly by the Meadows. I was absolutely fascinated defined space. Manipulation of response
inclusive. I was born in 1970 on the day the CHOKE Jonathan Langran, Gloucester Road Jonathan Langran, interview with gradual increase of dirt on the film itself, with her, it was almost like having sex and awareness thereof: through repetition
First International Underground Film Festival Groove, 1968, b/w, silent, 2m Mark Webber, 2002 increasing the tactile connotations gener- through the lens of the camera. I have and duration of image. Film situation as
began at the NFT. I hope that I have brought a “Choke was made from 8mm footage that Jeff Keen, Marvo Movie, 1967, colour, ated by rephotography. The spontaneity now seen Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, structured, as recorrective mechanism.
different perspective on a period that has not I had blown up to 16mm. It was colour sound, 5m MARVO MOVIE of Dwoskin’s response to the girls’ sensu- but I’d not seen that at the time. It came (Notes from 1969) Still utilizing at that
recently been reviewed. film I took of the Coca-Cola sign in John Latham, Speak, 1962, colour, al play is matched by the spontaneity of out about 1960, here was such a hoo-hah time potent (signifying, overloaded) rep-
Piccadilly Circus, which is now vastly sound, 11m “Movie wizard initiates shatterbrain his response to the film of their play. The about it and I was only about 16. resentations. (1972)”
FILM AS FILM different. I think that it was the fact that Stephen Dwoskin, Dirty, 1965-67, b/w, experiment – Eeeow! – the fastest movie rhythms of the girls’ movements are Subsequently when I saw it I was: “Oh Peter Gidal, London Film-makers’
It’s refreshing, in this time of new media feed- this expanded film thing was happening, sound, 10m film alive – at 24 or 16fps even the mind blended with the rhythms of the primary my god”. I could see how I was a real Co-operative distribution catalogue, 1974
ing frenzy, to be reminded of the wondrous and Malcolm would’ve said, “Well, aren’t Stuart Pound, Clocktime Trailer, 1972, trembles – splice up sequence 2 – flix and secondary stage camera movements menace!”
virtues of film, a medium that is often now you going to make any double screen colour, sound, 7m unlimited, and inside yr very head the and these rhythms relate to the steady Stuart Pound, interview with Mark “In Hall, extremely stable, normally
seen as an archaic, old-fashioned and out- films, then?” and I said “Can do, yeah”! I Simon Hartog, Soul In A White Room, images explode – last years models new pulse emanating from the center of the Webber, 2001 reproduced objects are given clear from
dated. Here are works made on film, by artists, just had this idea of using this image that 1968, colour, sound, 3.5m houses & such terrific death scenes while image as a result of the different projector the beginning, the editing, moreover,
because no other medium suits their purpose. I had, and again started painstakingly Peter Gidal, Hall, 1968-69, b/w, sound, the time and space operator attacks the and camera speeds during rephotography. SOUL IN A WHITE ROOM reducing the distance from which they
Beneath the surface of each is an underlying sello-taping little cuttings onto film so it 10m brain via the optic nerve – will the opera- The soundtrack successfully prevents the are seen, cutting in to show and to detail
‘human-ness’, an inherent tactility and tran- tracked across the screen in certain parts. Malcolm Le Grice, Reign Of The tion succeed – will the white saint reach awareness of audience noise (the “Films are not bombs. No cultural object, them, repetition then undercutting their
sience. You can feel these films, that each one I must have been an absolute glutton for Vampire, 1970, b/w, sound, 11m in time the staircase now alive with blood inevitable distraction of silent cinema) by as such, can have such a direct and meas- simple identification; the second time
has been crafted and fashioned into form by punishment at the time.” – only time will tell says the movie mas- filling the aural space, but not drawing urable effect on the physical universe. around, a bowl of fruit cannot be seen as
hand. The unique characteristics and possibili- David Crosswaite, interview with (Total running time approximately 75m) ter – meanwhile deep inside the space attention to itself. You tend not to notice Film works in the more ambiguous a bowl of fruit, but must be seen as an
ties of film are brought forward during the Mark Webber, 2001 museum…” it after a while and can therefore concen- sphere of art and ideas. It cannot change image in a film process, detached from
realisation of the work, where the artistic trate on what is most importantly a visu- the world, but it can change those who any unproblematic illusion of presence,
process begins at the inception of an idea and “… But nevertheless you get characters al-feel film.” can change it. Film makes use of values as a production in the film, a mark of the
goes right through to its projection. like Crosswaite, whose films I find John Du Cane, Time Out, 1971 that exist within a culture, and a society’s presence of that.”
absolutely magical, I think they’re the culture is more pervasive than its politics. Stephen Heath, “Repetition Time”,
THE PRESENT SITUATION most seminal works of the whole Co-op “The refilming enabled the actions of the The alteration, or even the questioning of Wide Angle, 1978
That Shoot Shoot Shoot should finally become period. He certainly didn’t engage in the two girls to be emphasized to convey the existing value is the alteration of society.
visible in London at this time seems incredible arguments that were going on, he stood tension and beauty of such a simple and The established cultural hierarchy main- REIGN OF THE VAMPIRE
timely, so much so that the project was almost aloof from it. In fact he would the erode emphatic gesture as a hand reaching out: tains itself by protecting and enforcing
halted just as it began to move into the final attempts of that hierarchical thing, his the ideas that keep it in power. Anything “It was about trying to get a mental posi-
frozen, and then moving slowly, then tion which defied the way in which the
planning stages. The closure of the Lux Centre, presence eroded it. He never really that attacks, questions, or provides new
engaged in the theoretical arguments, the freezing, then moving again, and all the values is a threat. The culture allows only then-C.I.A. was kind of intervening in the
which managed the exhibition, in November
polemics, at all, but nevertheless he pro- while creating tension and space before that which will not challenge its assump- world. But it was more, not a joke, but an
2001 would have ended Shoot Shoot Shoot if it
duced the most seminal, the most beauti- the contact. The refilming was done on a tions; everything else must be forced icon title. I suppose it said to me and to
were not for the foolhardy persistence of Ben
Cook and myself. The events that led up to the ful work probably of the period. He cer- small projector and this enabled me to underground. Film, as a cultural and other people, “Make your barb against
Lux crisis are indicative of the lack of appro- tainly wasn’t excluded, and he was capture the pulsing (cycles) of the projec- social activity, contains within itself a the C.I.A.” A lot of my early work, all
priate planning, support and resources allocat- always there to deflate this idea of exclu- tor light, which gave off a throbbing potential for change. Besides the great that aggressive work, has a political para-
ed to artists’ film and video in London (or the sivity. He refuses to engage. He would rhythm throughout, and increased the reporting and recording qualities of film, noia about it: the idea that there are hid-
UK as a whole) in recent years. Despite early just say, “Here’s my film” … and yet they mood of sensuality.” which provide it with a direct reference to den forces of the military-industrial
commitment of substantial funding from the are beautifully polemical, they’re just the culture, it also provides the sense of establishment, which are manipulating us
Stephen Dwoskin, Film Is…, 1975
Arts Council of England’s National Touring extraordinary pieces or work.
Programme and the British Council, for which Roger Hammond, interview with
I am truly grateful, this project (and others like Mark Webber, 2001
it) has been hindered by the lack of institution-
al or organisational support. Perhaps the cur- CASTLE TWO
rent review led by the London funding agen- Simon Hartog, Soul in a White Room
cies will improve matters, and in the meantime “This film continues the theme of the
the gap is being filled by independent screen- military/industrial complex and its psy-
ings. Maybe the interest shown in experimen- chological impact upon the individual TOWERS OPEN FIRE Ray Durgnat, London Film-Makers’
tal film by a new generation will impel the that I began with Castle One. Like Castle Co-operative distribution catalogue, 1968
major arts bodies to invest in the venues, the One, much use is made of newsreel mon- “Towers Open Fire is a straight-forward
prints and the production facilities that make tage, although with entirely different attempt to find a cinematic equivalent for “I was never part of the early 70s scene
up this unique ‘essential’ cinema. material. The film is more evidently the- William Burroughs’ writing: a collage of among the independent filmmakers –
matic, but still relies on formal devices – all the key themes and situations in the very much anti-American, anti-
THE ABSENT CATALOGUE building up to a fast barrage of images books, accompanied by a Burroughs Hollywood. ‘Industrial Cinema’ they
Much of the work done over the past two years (the two screens further split – to give 4 soundtrack narration. Society crumbles used to call it, which is true, but I never
has been towards assembling materials for a separate images at once for one as the Stock Exchange crashes, members felt that antipathy towards commercial
publication and the launch of the film pro- sequence). The images repeat themselves of the Board are raygun-zapped in their cinema. It was awful being a fucking mis-
gramme was the logical opportunity to publish in different sequential relationships and own boardroom, and a commando in the fit, I can tell you. I’d done my footsol-
this research. A vast quantity of archival docu- certain key images emerge both in the orgasm attack leaps through a window diering for the communist party and
mentation has been gathered, and many new soundtrack and the visual. The alienation and decimates a family photo collec- everything in those days – factory gates
interviews have been conducted. Essays have of the viewer’s involvement does not tion… Meanwhile, the liberated individ- and all that shit, “ban the bomb”… So by
been commissioned from David Curtis, Barry occur as often in this film as in Castle ual acts: Balch himself masturbates (“sil- the time of 1970, I’d got out of that. As
Miles, Michael O’Pray and Al Rees. Lack of One, but the concern with the viewer’s ver arrow through the night…”), for sexual liberation, I’d been happily
funds have forced us to sacrifice the book in experience of his present location still Burroughs as the junkie (his long-stand- married! And the drug scene didn’t mean
favour of film print costs. The proposed cata- determines the structure of certain pas- ing metaphor for the capitalist supply- anything to me because I’m puritanical.
logue will now be compiled as a separate book, sages in the film.” and-demand situation) breaks on through I’m a misfit.”
to be completed when funds become available. Malcolm Le Grice, London Film- to the hallucinatory world of Brion Gysin Jeff Keen, interview with Mark
It will hopefully benefit form the new insight Makers’ Co-operative catalogue, 1968 Dream Machines. Balch lets us stare into Webber, 2001
and understanding of the works which should the Dream Machines, finding faces to
come with the revival and re-viewing of the “Le Grice’s work induces the observer to match our own. “Anything that can be SPEAK
films and the discussions they will provoke. Inparticipate by making him reflect critical- done chemically can be done by other
the meantime, I hope this special broadsheet ly not only on the formal properties of means.” So the film is implicitly a chal- “Latham’s second attack on the cinema.
will provide some background information for film but also on the complex ways in lenge to its audience. But we’re playing Not since Len Lye’s films in the thirties
the screenings. I am still collecting photos, which he perceives that film within the with indefinables that we don’t really has England produced such a brilliant
stills, documentation and information, so limitations of the environment of its pro- understand yet, and so Mikey Portman’s example of animated abstraction. Speak
jection and the limitations created by his
please get in touch if you might be able to help. music-hall finale is interrupted by sci- is animated in time rather than space. It is
own past experience. A useful formula- ence-fiction attack from the skies, as lostan exploration in the possibilities of a cir-
Mark Webber tion of how this sort of feedback occurs is boardroom reports drift through the coun- cle which speaks in colour with blinding
shoot@lfmc.org contained in the notion of ‘perceptual tryside…” volume. Speak burns its way directly into
thresholds’. Briefly, a perceptual thresh- Tony Rayns, “Interview with Antony the brain. It is one of the few films about
old is demarcation point between what is Balch”, Cinema Rising No.1, April 1972 which it can truly be said, “it will live in
consciously and what is pre-consciously your mind.””
perceived. The threshold at which one is “Installations shattered – Personnel deci- Ray Durgnat, London Film-Makers’
able to become conscious of external mated – Board Books destroyed – Co-operative distribution catalogue, 1968
stimuli is a variable that depends on the Electronic waves of resistance sweeping
speed with which the information is through mind screens of the earth – The “In 1966 Pink Floyd were playing their
being projected, the emotional charge it message of Total Resistance on short free-form, experimental rock at the
contains and the general context within wave of the world – This is war to exter- Talbot Road Tabernacle (a church hall),
which that information is presented. This mination – Shift linguals – Cut word lines Powis Square, Notting Hill Gate. On sev-
explains Le Grice’s continuing use of – Vibrate tourists – Free doorways – eral occasions, Latham projected his film
devices such as subliminal flicker and the Photo falling – Word falling – Break Speak as the group played. Since the film
looped repetition of sequences in a stag- through in grey room – Calling Partisans had a powerful flicker effect, the result
gered series of changing relationships.” of all nations – Towers, open fire” was equivalent to strobe lighting. Film
John Du Cane, Time Out, 1977 William Burroughs, Nova Express, and music ran in parallel – there was no
1964 planned synchronization. Thinking to
combine movie and music more system-
* * * GLOUCESTER ROAD atically, Latham asked Pink Floyd to sup-
GROOVE ply a soundtrack. The band agreed and a
LONDON UNDERGROUND recording session took place. The artist
“A film for children and savages, easily explained that he wanted music that
understood, non didactic fantasies. Urban would take account of the strong, rhyth-
As equipment became available for little landscapes…Strolling single frames.” mical pulse of the film. This the acid rock
cost, avant-garde film flourished in mid- Jonathan Langran, London Film- group proved unable or unwilling to pro-
60s counter-culture. Early screenings at Makers’ Co-operative distribution cata- vide; consequently, the association was
Better Books and the Arts Lab provided a logue, 1977 terminated. A soundtrack was eventually
vital focus for a new movement that added to one print of Speak: Latham
SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT 3
from within that power. Obviously, they an idea; while Window Box exploits the SHEPHERD’S BUSH FILM NO. 1 certain relations between segments,
were – people were having their tele- viewer’s anticipation of camera move- between what the camera is aimed at and
phones tapped though I don’t suppose for ment and shrewdly transforms a seeming- “Shepherd’s Bush was a revelation. It was “Film No. 1 is a ten minute loop film. The the way that ‘image’ is presented. The
one minute that my telephone was inter- ly conventional viewpoint, the perma- both true film notion and demonstrated systems of superimposed loops are math- dialectic of the film is established in that
esting enough to tap. Reign of the nence of the cinematic frame is the focus an ingenious association with the film- ematically interrelated in a complex man- space of tension between materialist flat-
Vampire is that kind of paranoid film. It’s of Tautology’s brief enquiry. process. It is the procedure and conclu- ner. The starting and cut-off points for ness, grain, light, movement, and the sup-
a hovercraft that comes in, but it could By translating footage across different sion of a piece of film logic using a bril- each loop are not clearly exposed, but posed reality that is represented.
easily be a tank with the army getting out gauges, Crosswaite and Le Grice explore liantly simple device; the manipulation of through repetitions of sequences in dif- Consequently, a continual attempt to
of it … The idea of a military force that variations in film formats: Film No. 1 the light source in the Film Co-op printer ferent colours, in different material reali- destroy the illusion is necessary. In
can sneak in somewhere, and the comput- uses permutations and combinations of such that a series of transformations are ties (i.e. negative, positive, bas-relief, Structural/Materialist film, the in/film
er images. Threshold is in similar territo- unsplit 8mm, while Little Dog for Roger effected on a loop of film material. From neg/pos overlay) yet in a constant rhythm (not in/frame) and film/viewer material
ry, about the borders and so on but very directly prints 9.5mm home movies onto the start Mike Leggett adopts a relational (both visually and on the soundtrack relations, and the relations of the film’s
abstract. It’s about that hidden sense of 16mm stock. perspective according to which it is nei- hum), one is manipulated to attempt to structure, are primary to any representa-
force.” In Key, Gidal plays on the ambiguity of ther the elements or the emergent whole work out the system-structure. One tional content. The structuring aspects
Malcolm Le Grice, interview with an image to challenge and refute the but the relations between the elements relates to the repetitions in such a way and the attempt to decipher the structure
Mark Webber, 2001 observer’s interpretation of it, while (transformations) that become primary that one concentrates on working out the and anticipate/recorrect it, to clarify and
intensifying disorientation through his through the use of logical procedure. All serial formula while visually experienc- analyze the production-process of the
manipulation of the soundtrack. of Mike Leggett’s films call for special ing (and enjoying) the film at the same specific image at any specific moment,
“The film is made from six loops in pairs Du Cane’s Zoom Lapse comprises dense effort from the audience, and a passive time. One of the superimposed loops is are the root concern of
(simple superimposition, but made by multiple overlays of imagery, vibrating audience expecting to be manipulated made of alternating mattes, so that the Structural/Materialist film. The specific
printing through both loops together the moment, while Eatherley’s Deck re- will indeed find them difficult for they screen is broken up into four more or less construct of each specific film is not the
rather than in two runs following each photographs a reel of 8mm film, which seek a unique correspondence; one that equal rectangles of which, at any one relevant point; one must beware not to let
other, the effect of this is largely to elim- undergoes a mysterious transformation calls for real attention, interaction, and moment, two or three are blocked out the construct, the shape, take the place of
inate the transparent aspect of superimpo- through refilming, colour changing and anticipation/correction, a change for the (matted). The matte-positioning is rhyth- the ‘story’ in narrative film. Then one
sition). In content, the film comes near to printing. audience from being a voyeur to being mically structured, thus allowing each of would merely be substituting one hierar- Gill Eatherley, Deck
being a synthesis of the How to Screw the that of a participant.” the two represented images to flickering- chy for another within the same system, a
C.I.A. or How to Screw the C.I.A.? series; Roger Hammond, Window Box, 1971, Roger Hammond, London Film- ly appear in only one frame-corner at a formalism for what is traditionally called “The strategy of minimizing content to DECK
it draws on pieces of film from the other b/w, silent, 3m (18fps) Makers Co-operative distribution cata- time. This rhythm powerfully strengthens content. This is an absolutely crucial intensify the perception of film as a plas-
films, and combines these with the most Mike Leggett, Shepherd’s Bush, 1971, logue supplement, 1972 the film’s existence as selective reality point.” tic strip of frames is explicitly demon- “During a voyage by boat to Finland, the
‘disturbing’ of the images which I have b/w, sound, 15m manipulated by the filmmaker and Peter Gidal, “Theory and Definition camera records three minutes of black
strated in Le Grice’s seminal Little Dog
collected. It also relates to the David Crosswaite, Film No. 1, 1971, “The process of film-making should exposed as such. The mattes are slightly of Structural/Materialist Film”, Structural and white 8mm of a woman sitting on a
‘dream’/fluid association sequence in colour, sound, 10m emphasise the imaginative, and the con- ‘off’; there is no perfect mechanical fit, Film Anthology, 1976 For Roger. Here the 9.5mm ‘found-
bridge. The preoccupation of the film is
Castle Two; it is a kind of on-going Mike Dunford, Tautology, 1973, b/w, tact between film-maker and spectator so that the process of the physical matte- footage’ of a boy and his dog is repeated-
with the base and with the transformation
under-consciousness which repeats and silent, 5m should become more direct. Shepherd’s construction by the filmmaker is con- ZOOM LAPSE ly pulled through the 16mm printer; the
does not resolve into any semantic conse- Peter Gidal, Key, 1968, colour, sound, Bush was made through a process con- stantly noticeable, as one matte (at times of this material, which was first refilmed
varying speed and swaying motion of the on a screen where it was projected by
quence. One of the factors of the use of 10m trary to the generally accepted method of of different hue or different colour) “If I had to compare my work with anoth-
the loop, which interests me particularly, John Du Cane, Zoom Lapse, 1975, making a film. It was without a script, original filmstrip ironically allude to the multiple projectors at different speeds
blends over the edge of the matte next to er activity, I would first point to two relat-
is the way in which the viewer’s aware- colour, silent, 15m without a camera, without the complicat- it (horizontally or vertically). The film constant speed and rigid registration of and then secondly amplified with colour
ed musics: Reggae and certain West
ness undergoes a gradual transformation Malcolm Le Grice, Little Dog For Roger, ed route through task delegation. The deals with permutations of material, in a the 16mm film we are watching, and filters, using postive and negative ele-
from the semantic/associative to the 1967, b/w, sound, 13m entity of the film was conceived through prescribed manner, but one by no means African music. If I had to label my work,
develop a tension between our knowledge ments and superimposition on the
abstract/formal, even though the ‘infor- Gill Eatherley, Deck, 1971, colour, the reappraisal of a Debrie Matipo step- necessary or logical (except within the I would choose a term radically opposed
of the static frames which comprise the London Co-op’s optical printer.”
mation’ undergoes only limited change. sound, 13m contact printer. Designed such that with film’s own constructed system/serial). to ‘Structural’. I would say that I made
filmstrip and the illusion of continuous Gill Eatherley, Light Cone distribu-
The sound has a similar kind of loop/rep- precise control of the light reaching the The process of looping a given image is ‘Ecstatic Cinema’ … I would like to think
etition structure.” (Total running time approximately 81m) print stock after having passed through motion with which it is imbued. The use tion catalogue, 1997
already using film for its structural and that the ecstatic is our birthright and to
Malcolm Le Grice, How to Screw the filters, aperture band and the negative, it abstract power rather than for a conven- remember that ecstasy has many dimen- of ‘found-footage’ and of repetition –
C.I.A. or How to Screw the C.I.A.? pro- was possible to demonstrate the gradual tional narrative or ‘content’. But it is the “Deck was shot on Standard 8, black and
sions: we know that, from the Greek, we which threatens endlessness, though this
gramme notes, 1970 WINDOW BOX way in which the projection screen could superimposition of the black mattes white, on a boat going from Sweden to
are talking about ‘a standing outside’ of is a relatively short film – owe some-
turn from black to white. First, a suitable which gives the film its extremely rich Finland on a trip to Russia. And then I
oneself. This is meditation. And in the thing to the ‘pop’ aesthetic then domi-
“In the small masterpiece Window Box, image on an existing piece of positive texture, and which separates it from so
process of meditation, both rapture and a
just filmed it off the screen at St Martin’s,
* * * Hammond sets up a situation which is nant, but the spectator is never permitted put some colour on it, and turned it
deep peace can co-exist. If my films work
mystified in its presentation, and yet at to complacently enjoy these found- upside-down … Just turned it upside-
STRUCTURAL / MATERIALIST the same time demands of (and allows) as intended, they will help you into ecsta-
down and put some sound on. The sound
images; the graininess and under-illumi-
the viewer to demystify the given visual sy, and they will do this by satisfying in a
nation, the negative sequences and came off a radio – just fiddling around
impulses. The situation presented polymorphic manner. The films are very
The enquiry into the material of film as upside-down passages are designed not with a radio and a microphone, just in-
includes thus within its own premises the physical, they are polyrhythmic and they
film itself was an essential characteristic objective factors which determine the so much to add variation as to continu- between stations. It was one of the
are patterned in a manner designed to cre-
of the Co-op’s output. These non- and possibility and probability of successful longest films I’ve ever made and that kind
ate a very definite way of seeing, of expe- ously render those simple images difficult
anti- narrative concerns were fundamen- analysis. The criteria one uses to evalu- of frightened me a little bit. I thought it
riencing. I intend my films to jump out at to decipher, thus stressing that very act of
tally argued by the group’s principal ate, interpret, are secondary to this con- would be too long, you know, 13 minutes
practising theorists Malcolm Le Grice you from their dark spaces, their gaps, decoding. The relentless asceticising of
ceptually-determined process of working was quite a long time. Most of my films
and Peter Gidal. their elisions, to vibrate in your whole the image became a major preoccupation
out what is. We are taken into a post-log- are only three minutes, six minutes, eight
ical empiricism which realizes the sensu- being in the very manner and rhythm of in subsequent British avant-garde film- minutes … but it could have gone on
In explaining their (quite different) ideas al strength of illusion which at the same felt experience. The magic of film for me
making.” longer maybe…”
in some erudite but necessarily dense time using precisely that to refer to preci- is the possibility to portray these complex
texts Le Grice and Gidal have in some Deke Dusinberre, Perspectives on Gill Eatherley, interview with Mark
sion of information. The opposite of interlacings unfolding through time. You
ways contributed to misunderstandings of Cartesian in its in-built negation of any British Avant-Garde catalogue, 1977 Webber, 2001
can watch one of my films, and see two
this significant tendency in the British aspect outside of the given system. films simultaneously; one of my mind
avant-garde. (For example, It is not the Hammond is non-atomistic, non-referen- and one of yours. I say film of ‘my mind’,
case, as is often proposed, that films were tial within a specific, set-up, and defined
made to justify their theories.) but what I want to emphasise, because the
closed system. Thus, a pure attitude.
Le Grice was instrumental in acquiring, films emphasise it, is that is a film of my
Hammond is purifying the conceptual
installing and operating the equipment at and non-psychological aspect of his work Mike Leggett, Shepherd’s Bush being. The last thing I want my films to
the Co-op workshop that afforded film- to the point where it increasingly repre- be is a purely mental event. This would
makers the hands-on opportunity to sents his calculable mental system: the stock was found with which to produce a many other, less complex, loop-type be to deny a large part of the spectrum of
investigate the film medium. His own nonreferential structural obligation. He master negative. The shot was only ten films. Crosswaite works, in this film, the film.”
work developed through direct process- does not create a whole system, however; seconds in length but contained a range with two basic images: Piccadilly at night John Du Cane, “Statement on
ing, printing and projection, providing an rather, he deciphers one.” of tones from one end of the grey scale to and a shape which suggests at moments a Watching My Films: A Letter from John
understanding of the material with which Peter Gidal, “Directory of UK the other. It was loaded into the printer as 3-D close-up of a flowerlike organic
Du Cane”, Undercut 13, 1984-85
he could examine filmic time through Independent Film-Makers”, Cinema a loop, and subsequently a print which growth or a Matisse-like abstract 2-D
duration, while touching on spectacle and Rising No. 1, April 1972 repeated the action was made from the cutout. Depending on the colour dye of
narrative. negative. Only part of the viewer’s atten- the particular film-segment and the posi- “I was interested in film as a sculptural
By contrast, Gidal’s cool, oppositional “Roger Hammond’s movies are short tion should be taken with the perception tive/negative interchange, the object medium, and as a way to have the viewer
stance was refined to refute narrative and studies of apparently simple of the figurative image on the screen. It changes shading and constanyly re-forms be more aware of his viewing process, of
representation, denying illusion and subjects…they induce a tight awareness should however, be dynamic enough to from one dimension to the other, while his consciousness. My films were medita-
manipulation though visual codes. His of how these relations can be radically warrant careful inspection should the shifting our perceptions from its reality as tive at a time when that phrase wasn’t a
uncompromising position resists all transformed by subtle shifts in film viewer’s attention turn to it. A thirty- 3-dimensional re-presentation to its reali- popular term to use, but most of the films
expectations of cinema, even modernist process; shifts of light value, angle, minute version was made first, but on ty as cutout filling the film-frame with were designed to reflect the viewer back
formalism and abstraction. The artistic movement, framing, etc… The illusions viewing was judged too long, so for the jagged edged blackness.”
on themself. I also usually wanted my
and theoretical relationship of these two of cinema as they bend our conscious- next version half this length was judged Peter Gidal, NFT English
poles of the British avant-garde, who films to be very physical experiences, I
ness, become the focus of our attention. correct. A soundtrack was made match- Independent Cinema programme notes,
were united in opposing ‘dominant cine- wanted to make the experience work on
In Window Box, a simple subject takes on ing in audio terms the perceptible 1972
ma’, is a complex set of divergences and multiple dimensions in a ghostly world changes in visual quality not usually really all of the main levels of energy; the
intersections. created by the process of rephotograph- encountered within the environment of TAUTOLOGY physical, the intellectual and the aspects
ing projected negative footage. There is a the cinema. This film realized total con- of awareness that we associate with con-
Originally intended as a test strip, the first gentle reminder in this process in the trol over the making of a film, from selec- “Regarding the in-built tautological sciousness. In Zoom Lapse I was also
film produced at the Dairy on the Co-op framing of the eventual image, which tion of the original camera stock, through aspects of perceptual structuring. Since interested in working with the way we
step-printer was Shepherd’s Bush, in incorporates in its composition a horizon- exposure, processing, printing, process- refuted.” perceive time and space as it can be
which an obscure loop of abstract footage tal bar of light from the wall from which ing, projection, cataloguing, and distribu- Mike Dunford, London Film-Makers’
manipulated through the camera. Of
relentlessly advances from dark to light. the film is being rephotographed.” tion.” Co-operative distribution catalogue, 1977
The two short films by Roger Hammond Mike Leggett, excerpts from unpub- course part of the content of this film had
John Du Cane, Time Out, 1971 to do with the camera’s ability to squeeze
and Mike Dunford concisely encapsulate lished notes, 1972 “Each time I make a film I see it as a kind
of hypothesis, or a questioning statement, our perspective through the process of
rather than a flat assertion of any particu- zooming in and zooming out on a partic-
lar form or idea… Each film is a film ular area. In the making of the film I actu-
experiment in the sense that the most ally lapsed the zoom process, so that I
attractive features are those that work… would shoot a single frame that had a
My films are not about ideas, or aesthet- zoom within it, and sequences in the film
ics, or systems, or mathematics, but are
that were more extended zooms, so I took
about film, film-making, and film-view-
ing, and the interaction and intervention a very simple shot. I was living on a canal
of intentive self-conscious reasoning in Hamburg in a kind of romantic, old
activity in that context.” warehouse district, about all that was left
Mike Dunford, 2nd International after the bombing of the city. There was
Avant-Garde Festival programme notes, an old set of warehouse windows across
1973 the way and so I was interested in explor-
ing the ways that you could squeeze
“Its pretty obvious isn’t it? That’s the space and watch the relationships
kind of film that me and Roger
between your time perception and your
Hammond talked about. It’s because we
actually spent quite a bit of time hanging perception of space and how the two
out in the Co-op, processing things and interact. There’s a process in the film, that
talking about ideas. He’d read Derrida happens in many of my other films,
and all that kind of stuff, and as a result I where I want the viewer to be pretty con-
read some of it too. And that’s how I scious that what they’re seeing is not
would have got to make something like something that exists on the celluloid,
Tautology, by talking to someone like that there’s a way they’re manufacturing
him A very simple idea, simply done; it
does one thing and that’s all it does.”

Mike Dunford, interview with Mark
Webber, 2001

KEY
“… an enclosed and progressive disem-
bowelment of durational progression. He
draws out singularities … he allows the
camera only a fenced in area, piecemeal.
He lets the gaze hold on objects and con-
stantly repeats … this permits the possi- John Du Cane, Zoom Lapse
bilities of the discrepancies between
one’s own seeing and seeing with the in the viewing process. The film should
camera to become distinct, and this in very obviously be something that if you
turn allows for a completely different come back and watch it a second, third,
experience of the surroundings.” fourth, fifth time you’re not really going
Birgit Hein, Film Im Underground, to see the same thing because the eye is
1971 creating sets of images that don’t actual-
ly exist.”
“Structural/Materialist film attempts to
be non-illusionist. The process of the John Du Cane, interview with Mark
film’s making deals with devices that Webber, 2002
result in demystification or attempted
demystification of the film process. But LITTLE DOG FOR ROGER
by ‘deals with’ I do not mean ‘repre-
sents’. In other words, such films do not “The film is made from some fragments
document various film procedures, which of 9.5mm home movie that my father
would place them in the same category as shot of my mother, myself, and a dog we
films which transparently document a
had. This vaguely nostalgic material has
narrative, a set of actions, etc.
Documentation, through usage of the film provided an opportunity for me to play
medium as transparent, invisible, is with the medium as celluloid and various
exactly the same when the object being kinds of printing and processing devices.
documented is some ‘real event’, some The qualities of film, the sprockets, the
‘film procedure’, some ‘story’, etc. An individual frames, the deterioration of
avant-garde film defined by its develop- records like memories, all play an impor-
ment towards increased materialism and tant part in the meaning of this film.”
materialist function does not represent, or Malcolm Le Grice, Progressive Art
document, anything. The film produces
Productions distribution catalogue, 1969
4 SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT
LOCATION: DURATION operator can get, with the help of a in a sense, if you have the eyes to see, to slow down the speed changes and Guy Sherwin, At The Academy, 1974, Guy Sherwin, Arts Council Film- British Film and Video Artists, 1996
Bolex-16 pro. With an overwhelming, everything is revealed, and technique is show the build up of individual frames. b/w, sound, 5m makers on Tour catalogue, 1980
complex, deep, beautiful soundtrack by no longer a means of alienation between The intermittent light sections of the film David Crosswaite, The Man With The “Sounds are affective. Images are instruc-
Film is a unique tool for the investigation Anthony.” observer and actor, or between the actor were made by filming directly into the Movie Camera, 1973, b/w, silent, 8m “At the Academy was made during a peri- tive. In reversing, turning over, the nota-
of time and space. The subjective time of Peter Gidal, London Film-Makers’ and his activity. From this point of view, projector gate, sometimes ‘freezing’ indi- Mike Dunford, Silver Surfer, 1972, b/w, od of raiding laboratory skips for junk tion, or perhaps the connotation of
the photographed image may be meas- Co-operative distribution catalogue, 1971 Malcolm Le Grice exhibits an unusual vidual frames and repeating sections of sound, 15m film. It uses a very simple and highly images and words, it becomes alarmingly
ured against the objective time of projec- honesty and integrity of intention. If Le the darker film. By using freeze frames, Jenny Okun, Still Life, 1976, colour, unprofessional homemade printer. The apparent that words (and not only in their
tion through the use of time-lapse, editing “Gidal’s ultimate goal is the viewer’s Grice’s heart is in technique, then his bleached images, under-exposure and silent, 6m found-footage was hand printed by wind- relationship with sentences) are to be
and duration. head: he’s interested in the way that the concurrent concern with the context with- inclusion of the frame line, the film Lis Rhodes, Dresden Dynamo, 1971, ing it on a sprocketed wheel through a believed, or not, and are therefore emo-
viewer comes to terms with what he sees, in which an observer assimilates and asserts both its physical and illusionistic colour, sound, 5m light beam. Because the light spills over tional. This is why lots can be said and
First tracing sunlight moving around a the analytic process of working out the directly experiences his structured realities.” Chris Garratt, Versailles I & II, 1976, the sound track area, the optical sound nothing happens, or nothing is said and a
room, then a static study of illumination true nature of the experience. Like other time/space events, is a way of wearing his William Raban, programme notes, b/w, sound, 11m undergoes identical transformations to lot happens. One person’s word against
around a night-time window. The formal ‘structuralists’, his distrust of content in heart on his sleeve.” 1972 Roger Hewins, Windowframe, 1975, the image. I programmed the printing so another’s. The answer and the question
Leading Light might surprise those famil- films verges on an all-but-paranoid fear John Du Cane, Time Out, 1977 colour, sound, 6m that the image gradually builds up in lay- occupy the same space. They are already
iar with the more humorous works of of human emotion… and since his films PHASED TIME2 ers superimposed, slightly out of phase, familiar if not known to each other.
John Smith. define their own rhythms (rather than FFOREST BAY II (Total running time approximately 78m) moving from one up to twelve layers. Emotionally they live within the same
Peter Gidal uncharacteristically used the matching life-rhythms, as in “Constructed on a pre-determined pro- political order, that is, of manipulation
mechanics of an automated camera to Eisensteinian montage) they presuppose “Each of my films is a separate attempt to gressively self-defining ‘phased’ score and persuasion. Images do not ‘say’.
construct the loop-like rhythm of Focus, the viewer’s willing surrender to the task re-define the interface between ‘mind’ and lens-matting procedure, Phased They are instructive. They are said to
which zooms through the “static reality” of watching them. At their best, as in and ‘nature’. Although specified or at Time2 consists of six sections, each out of ‘speak for themselves’. And I think they
of a mysterious apartment. With an elec- Bedroom or Focus (the latter a series of least implied in any one piece of work, a 100 ft. roll. All work was done in cam- do. Seeing sense is a rare occurrence, in
tronic score by Anthony Moore. backward-and-forward zooms through an this delineation is constantly changed and era except for linking with black spacer itself. There is little space for reflexive
Sheet develops from a conceptual basis open indoor space, the elements within adapted both as a definition, at a material between sections. Apart from the first, meaning in reflection. The one is the
and could be viewed as documentation of the shot at once seemingly arbitrary and level, and as a working model, at a con- each section is subdivided according to other, if not in geometry, certainly in
an event. The eponymous object is seen precisely defined), they are sufficiently ceptual level, to each unique situation or logical cyclic procedures. Each division time. The values of a social system are
in different locations, making this one of strong conceptually to capture the viewer location. Without this essentially cyber- (take) is a fixed position shot. At every continuously displayed and reproduced.
the few experimental films that offer us into participating in the experience, con- netic view of the relationship between consecutive take the camera is ‘pre- Repetitive distribution re-enforces
incidental glimpses of London during this sciously or not. One of the few genuine ‘mind’ and ‘nature’, a view in which the panned’ half a frame’s width to the right. acceptance, protectionism masquerades
period. ‘originals’ at work in Britain.” relation between the two operates as a Effectively, the camera is revolving in a as ‘free’ choice. But the explicit nature of
Le Grice’s film Whitchurch Down Tony Rayns, “Directory of UK homeostatic loop, ‘nature’ becomes noth- ‘static pan’ around a room throughout the images always remains implicit. You can
(Duration) takes three views of a land- Independent Film-Makers”, Cinema ing more than potential raw material at film. Also, each consecutive take is par- look at them. They are made to look at
scape and combines them with pure Rising No. 1, April 1972 the disposal of ‘mind’ acting upon it. This tially superimposed over its predecessor you. Even chance cannot avoid recogni-
colours and intermittent sound in pro- raw material is most visibly manifest in (by rewinding after each take) and conse- tion. Abstract or configured instruction is
gressive loop sequences and freeze- “Film cannot adequately represent con- that subdivision of ‘nature’ termed ‘land- quently phases the half-frame moves. The within the image. Even nothing much is
frames, positing duration as a concrete sciousness any more than it adequately scape’. The wilder and more remote this first section is a single continuous take, something. Meanwhile the needle goes
dimension. represents meaning; all film is invisibly landscape is, the further it is removed with the whole frame exposed. The sec- round and round the record irrespective
Shot to a pre-planned structure, Welsby’s encumbered by mystificatory systems from, and the less it exhibits those signs ond commences the phased divisions; in of the recording. Tape wraps round the
dynamic Fforest Bay II uses speed as the and interventions which are distortions, which mark the activities of ‘mind’. each, the whole frame is exposed. In the Jenny Okun, Still Life head and the disc spins. “Read my lips’,
instrument with which he demonstrates repressions, selections, etc. That a film is Technology is both a subdivision of third, alternative takes are matted half a he said. Hopefully, we didn’t bother.
the disparity between the cinematic view not a window to life, to a set of meanings, ‘nature’ and an extension of ‘mind’. frame’s width, progressively left and SLIDES This has the effect of stretching or decel- Seeing is never believing, or lip sync a
and the film surface. to a pure state of image/meaning, ought Viewed within these terms of reference, right of the frame. In the fourth, takes are erating individual frames from 1/24 sec confirmation of authenticity. But the
Via time-lapse, manual exposure and to be self-evident. Thus, the documenting the camera, as a product of technology, progressively matted by quarter frame “Slides was made while I was still a stu- to 1/2 sec, causing them to fuse with combination of instruction and affectivity
refilming, Broadwalk by William Raban of an act of film-making is as illusionist a can be seen as a potential interface widths and cycle twice; once through dent at St.Martins. Like the sewing adjacent frames. A separate concern in is very effective. Anything can be sold in
ranges from serenity to rigour. The per- practice as the documenting of a narrative between ‘mind’ and ‘nature’.” whole frame exposure; quarter matte machine piece, it was one that just hap- the film is the game it plays with the audi- between, anything that necessitates the
ceptible traces of human movement action (fiction). And consciousness is as Chris Welsby, Arts Council Film- (right); half; three quarters; half; quarter, pened. By that time I was immersed in ence’s expectations.” political construction of emotion. In a
appear as ghosts in the tranquil walkway. encumbered by the illusionist devices of makers on Tour catalogue, 1980 and back to whole. Then, quarter matte film and I always seemed to have bits of Guy Sherwin, A Perspective on series of films and live works I have
David Hall, a pioneer of video art, dis- cinema, if one is attempting to document (left); half; three quarters, etc. In the fifth, film around in my room, on the table, English Avant-Garde Film catalogue, investigated the material connections
plays a command of the cinematic medi- ‘it’, as anything else. Filmic reflexiveness “The idea that I was thinking of with the same procedure is taken using multi- everywhere, always little fragments. I had 1978 between the film image and the optical
um in the layers of superimposition that is the presentation of consciousness to the Fforest Bay was sort of the way that if ples of a one-eighth matte, but this time slides of my paintings and I cut up the sound track. In Dresden Dynamo, the one
make up Phased Time2, building up aural self, consciousness of the way one deals you changed the ‘sampling rates’, you proceeding through only one complete slides and made them into a strip. THE MAN WITH THE was the other. That is – what is heard is
and visual ‘chords’ while mapping out a with the material operations; film relex- were able to capture different types of cycle. The sixth, and last, proceeds Imagine a 16mm strip of celluloid with MOVIE CAMERA seen and what is seen is heard. One sym-
room on the flat screen. iveness is forced through cinema’s mate- events. One sampling rate would do cer- through one-sixteenth mattes from whole sprocket holes: Instead of that what I had bolic order creates the other. The film is
rialist operations of filmic practice.” tain things with the waves, and other frame to black (left). The second section was a strip – just slightly narrower – “Crosswaite’s Man with the Movie the score is the sound.”
John Smith, Leading Light, 1975, colour, Peter Gidal, “Theory and Definition sampling rates would start to register the (the first to comprise a multiple of takes) without the sprocket holes and the slides Camera is a particularly elegant film. By Lis Rhodes, “Flashback from a
sound, 11m of Structural/Materialist Film”, Structural activity of people in the scene. With has its number of divisions determined by were just cut into bits, just little frag- mounting a circular mirror a little before Partisan Filmmaker”, Filmwaves No. 6,
Peter Gidal, Focus, 1971, b/w, sound, 7m Film Anthology, 1976 another sampling rate, you’d be able to the number of half-frame moves neces- ments and stuck in with other film as the camera, so that it only occupies the 1998
Ian Breakwell & Mike Leggett, Sheet, see the clouds moving. The idea was to sary to complete a 180 degree linear well, and also sewing (this was before central area of the screen, and another
1970, b/w, sound, 21m SHEET start with a really rapid sampling rate and ‘pan’ (eight using a 10mm lens). Reel Time). There are bits sewn with mirror to the side, the camera and the VERSAILLES I & II
Malcolm Le Grice, Whitchurch Down then slow it down, and then reverse the Subsequent sections progressively thread and some bits with holes punched cameraman may be seen as the central
“Sheet is concerned with redefining “For this film I made a contact printing
(Duration), 1972, colour, sound, 8m process. So the fastest sampling rate was increase their numbers (according to in. It was a very natural way of me to image, with the other features of the room
Chris Welsby, Fforest Bay II, 1973, boundaries, affirming that old Gestalten one frame per position. I divided the rota- matte cycles) until the last which com- work, coming from painting, just work- visible around the circumference. The box, with a printing area 16mm x 185mm
colour, silent, 5m thing that elements in a field are always tion circle of sixty degrees into eight seg- pletes a 360 degree pan, with all takes ing with something I could hold in my film is complex in spite of the simplicity which enabled the printing of 24 frames
of picture plus optical sound area at one
William Raban, Broadwalk, 1972, colour, subordinated to the whole, the composi- ments: rotated the camera, took a frame, simultaneously superimposed in the cen- hand was somehow less threatening than of the set-up, which is only slowly
time. The first part is a composition using
sound, 12m tion of it – an aggregate of episodes – is rotated it again, took a frame, etc. Second ter of the section in sixteen takes (con- working with equipment. I think I was grasped. Particularly succinct is the way
David Hall, Phased Time2, 1974, colour, such that what finally emerged was a time round, I took two frames, and so on current with the one-sixteenth progres- much more confident working with in which the effect of manipulating the 7 x one-second shots of the statues of
Versailles. Palace of 1000 Beauties, with
sound, 15m somewhat soft mesmeric movie, the rep- up to about thirty frames, I think. At the sive mattes). The comparative ‘panning’ something that I could grab hold of, so I camera, like changing focus, is seen in
accompanying soundtrack, woven
etitions and symmetries setting up moods fastest sampling rate, you can’t really see pace is apparently accelerated or deceler- made this strip and then the film was real- the image simultaneously with a view of
(Total running time approximately 82m) in which one became immersed.” much because it’s going too fast; you’re ated according to the relative matting pro- ly created in the contact printer at the Co- how it is brought about. There is no other according to a pre-determined sequence.
Roger Hammond, London Film- more aware of the circular motion of the cedure and number of frame divisions, op. Normally you would have your raw ‘content’ than the functioning of the cam- Because sound and picture were printed
This programme adapts its title from Makers’ Co-operative catalogue supple- camera itself. Then as it starts to slow working from left to right and back from negative and your emulsion and its liter- era itself, seen to be sufficient and even simultaneously, the minute inconsisten-
cies in exposure times resulted in rhyth-
Malcolm Le Grice’s “Location? ment, 1972 down, you can see individual waves right to left and back, since the camera is ally in contact, the light shines through it poetic.”
mic fluctuations of picture density and
Duration?” exhibition of films and paint- break on the shore. As it slows down at all times moved to the right. The sound and you make a copy, but I had this very Malcolm Le Grice, Abstract Film and
levels of sound. Two of these shots com-
ings at the Drury Lane Arts Lab in 1968. “Shrouding or hiding belong both to some more you can see people and, even- phases and eventually superimposes syn- thin strip, which I held in the contact Beyond, 1977
prise the second part of the film which is
tually, clouds and changes of light. Then, chronously with the picture, and was pro- printer and I just manoeuvered it. I could
SILVER SURFER framed by abstract imagery printed
the whole process returns. Also, the duced on a synthesizer and electric see what I was doing because there’s a lit-
across the entire width of the film sur-
image flattens when it’s going very fast, organ.” tle peephole you can look into so that you
so you may become aware of the film sur- David Hall, First Festival of can see each image. It amazes me now “A surfer, filmed and shown on tv, face: the visible image is also the sound
face itself rather than the surface through Independent British Cinema catalogue, that I could have ever done anything like refilmed on 8mm, and refilmed again on image.”
16mm. Simple loop structure preceded Chris Garratt, London Film-Makers’
the screen.” 1975 that, I couldn’t possibly go within a hun-
Chris Welsby, interview with Mark dred yards of doing it now. But I did it by four minutes of a still frame of the Co-operative distribution catalogue, 1977
Webber, 2001 then and Slides was what came out of it. surfer. An image on the borders of appre-
* * * Annabel Nicolson, interview with hension, becoming more and more “I was motivated originally by the
BROADWALK Mark Webber, 2002 abstract. The surfer surfs, never surfs prospect of being able to compose sound
INTERVENTION & anywhere, an image suspended in the and visual images in units of fractions of
“This film reiterates some of the concerns PROCESSING “Slides develops a simple and elegant light of the projector lamp. A very quiet seconds and by the tremendous ratio of
of Raban’s earlier work: the manipulation tension between stasis and apparent and undramatic film, not particularly magnification between the making and
of time and the role of light/colour in motion, between surface and depth, and didactic. Sound: the first four minutes projection of sound and picture images.
landscape representation. The opening The workshop was an integral part of the between abstract colours / shapes and consists of a fog-horn, used as the basic The content is not really the figurative
and closing sequences of the film, shot at LFMC and provided almost unlimited representational imagery. Ironically, the tone for a chord played on the organ, the subject matter as in some superimposed
regular camera speed (24 frames per sec- access to hands-on printing and process- material pulled through the printer this rest of the film uses the sound of breakers concept, but the here and now of the raw
ond) establish a tension with the predom- ing. Within this supportive environment, time is not found-footage posing as orig- with a two second pulse and occasional material, in making and in projection, and
inant time-lapse/time-exposure sequence artists were free to experiment with tech- inal material which is utilized in the way bursts of musical-like sounds.” in the relationship between these two
(each frame exposed for a full twenty nique and engage directly with the film- found-footage had been used by others. London Film-Makers Co-operative events in which nothing is hidden,
seconds). The original hundred feet or so strip in an artisan manner. The film thus engages the entire concept distribution catalogue supplement, 1972 propped up, decorated, representative or
which were exposed during a period of of – in David Curtis’ phrase – ‘the representable. (The choice of the materi-
24 hours in Regent’s Park were then By treating film as a medium in the same English rubbish tip aesthetic’ which “Scientific or objective reality is based on al used was largely a matter of chance,
refilmed (off a projection screen) result- way that a sculptor might use different embraces, in part, the theory that any- repetition or frequency of observed data. but it is significant that (1) the original
Ian Breakwell & Mike Leggett, Sheet ing in a film over 400 feet long. This materials, the Co-op filmmakers brought thing that can travel through a printer It has been postulated that any unusual footage deals with ‘art’ and ‘culture’ in a
technique of rephotography further a new understanding of the physical sub- and/or projector is film material for a film event which occurs only once cannot be very clichéd way, (2) we instantly relate
death as the mysterious unseen killer, and abstracts the process of landscape repre- stance and the way it could be crafted. and for cinematic projection. The value- observed. Organisation of space is deter- to this whole genre of documentary rather
LEADING LIGHT
to the corpse. Sheet has all these feelings. sentation and offers greater possibilities Annabel Nicolson pulled prepared sec- less becomes valued. Nicolson asserts the mined by a continuous reference to the than to the particular subject, (3) it con-
The uncertainty and surprise: where will for variation and control over certain aes- tions of film (which might be sewn, col- preciousness not only of her original relationships between the observer and tains virtually no subject or camera
“Leading Light evolves a sense of screen
it appear next? The sheet appears in odd thetic effects. Raban’s established motif laged, perforated) through the printer to material but also that material in its trans- the observed data. ‘Objectivity’ is a func- movement at all, and (4) there is an opti-
depth and surface through the simple
of the light/colour variations of landscape make Slides. formations, and by extension the poten- tion of frequency, continued frequency cal soundtrack, identifiable during edit-
agency of light. The film is shot in a room places, making familiar objects look
imagery is here radicalized into Fred Drummond’s Shower Proof, an tial preciousness of all perception. In this implies permanence and therefore objec- ing only in the abstract, i.e. visually).”
over the period of a day and records the strange and uncanny. The party goes on Chris Garratt, “Directory of
white/black sequences, which operate in early Co-op process film, exploits the respect the film moves away from the rig- tivity. Frequency is determined by the
changes in light through the single win- with everybody pretending it isn’t there,
similar ways despite their polarity. degeneration of the image as a result of orous ascetic strategy and is more indul- organism. The perceptual threshold of a Independent British Cinema”,
dow. The image is controlled through embarrassed, ashamed of it, it is eventu-
White-outs constantly flatten the deep successive reprinting, intuitively cutting gent of the pleasure of vision…” human being is approximately 1/30th of a Independent Cinema No. 1, 1978
manipulation of aperture, of shutter
ally kicked into a corner. This sums up space of the original image. Black ‘bars’ footage of two people in a bathroom. Deke Dusinberre, Perspectives on second. Perception is a product of fre-
release, of lens, but the effect is more WINDOWFRAME
our present approach to death. As the film – parts of irregularly exposed (repho- Guy Sherwin uses layers of positive and British Avant-Garde Film catalogue, quency which is a product of perception.”
casual than determined and the spectator
proposes: the more we pretend it isn’t tographed) frames – are seen rolling negative leader to build a powerful bas- 1977 Mike Dunford, “Conjectures and “Windowframe is an investigation of the
is aware primarily of the determining
there, the more it pursues us. Then, in the across the screen emphasizing its surface relief in At The Academy, while Jenny Assertions”, Filmaktion programme way in which we may perceive a specific
strategy of following sunlight. Smith has
final sequence in the valley there seems nature. And the black ‘night’ sequence Okun explores the properties of colour SHOWER PROOF notes, 1973 image – that of two people, seen through
commented that, “…the film is not
intended as an academic exercise – I to be a feeling of resolution. Perhaps that serves to assert a strong identity between negative in Still Life. a window, involved in some activity. This
wanted to make a film of light cast by the film and landscape, in so far as blackness Considered and brilliantly executed, The “SONF SOUND TRACK SYNC? STILL LIFE is the image seen at the opening of the
the earth will eventually claim us, but
sun largely because I found it beautiful. also gives us birth, growth, and protec- is first felt as absence of landscape, and Man with the Movie Camera dazzles with SPASH BTHA BATH GURGLE WATER film. Subsequent sections of the film
only then as absence of light – inverting technique as focus, aperture and compo- – how real – pure film – or a report – sit- “Still Life moves towards later stages of present to the viewer differing juxtaposi-
At the same time, I did not want to make tion. So, as we realize that the sheet and
causal order. The fundamental aspect of sition are adjusted to exploit a mirror uation examined by camera – but false – transformation than the earlier films and tions of the four segments of this image
an illusionistic narrative film about the
the valley go together, so the sheet can go this film is the interpretation of actual positioned in front of the lens. contrived realism is not a true record of substitutes positive for negative camera which are created by the cross-bars of the
sun moving around a room, but instead to
off to a more bearable distance.” time and actual landscape into filmic time For Silver Surfer, Mike Dunford refilms spontaneous actuality – this could never stock in the conventional negative-posi- window. Tensions are created between
employ these events within an essentially
Extract from a letter to the filmmakers tive process of filming and printing: the what we expect to see, and what we do
filmic construction. Because the images
from a member of the audience, circa filmmaker then attempts to reinstate see. We see the original image as a single
are so seductive, there is a conflict in the
1970 some sort of representation of reality by whole. Do we perceive the manipulated
film between the events which occurred
painting the fruit in front of the camera its sections in the same way, or are we drawn
and the way in which they were recorded.
negative colours; but the burnt-out shad- to investigate each pane separately? Can
This is quite intentional – for this reason WHITCHURCH DOWN ows and black highlights consistently we make ourselves see the manipulated
I chose a very romantic piece of music for (DURATION) prevent any illusionistic interpretation of sections in the same way we see the orig-
the soundtrack, which is mechanistically
the space within the frame while also inal sequence? In the section in which the
manipulated. The sound (which only “This film is the beginning of an exami- asserting the processes involved.” image is split simply horizontally or ver-
occurs when an image of a record player nation of the perceptual and conceptual Jeremy Spencer, “Films of Jenny tically are we able to re-establish/re-con-
appears on the screen) alters in level in structures which can be dealt with using Okun”, Readings No. 2, 1977 struct the original image in our minds so
relation to two variables – the apparent pure colour sequences in loop forms with
distance from the camera to the apparent pictorial material. In this case, the picto- that the image we see differs from that on
“My films, photographic constructions, the screen? Perhaps this film answers
source of the sound, and the exposure of rial material is confined to three land- Fred Drummond, Shower Proof and paintings all stem from similar con- some of these questions; perhaps it mere-
the individual shots (bright=loud, scape locations and the structure is not
be? enough to contrive (the camera cerns. They are attempts to integrate the ly raises them.”
dark=quiet). The manipulations accord- mathematically rigorous.”
makes every situation an arrangement), structural aspects of an event/landscape Roger Hewins, Derby Independent
ing to distance are merely an extension of Malcolm Le Grice, London Film-
then edit out as much obvious con- with the structural aspects of the medium Film Awards catalogue, 1976
an accepted illusionistic code (source of Makers’ Co-operative distribution cata-
trivance. It is only a FILM.” involved. This integration of structures is
sound seems further away, therefore the logue, 1974
Fred Drummond, original production aimed at creating a balance with no one “For the best part of ten years
sound is quieter, etc.), whereas the
notes for Shower Proof, 1968 element overstated, no one part domi- Windowframe was exhibited as a silent
manipulations according to brightness are “The first general point about Le Grice’s nant. My own participation is emphasised film. I had, however, always ‘seen’ it as a
materialist – a new code, but just as valid work is that the eventual structure of his film with sound. Indeed a magnetic stripe
“Fred Drummond has made a series of in this process – just as scientists now to facilitate this had been added to the
as the other in the film’s terms.”” films is not normally the result of an
short single and double-screen films that acknowledge that their own existence original print of the film at the lab.
Deke Dusinberre, Perspectives on adherence to a rigorously formulated ini-
explore visual rhythms and the potentials cannot be ignored in the calculation of However, I was unable to decide exactly
British Avant-Garde Film catalogue, tial concept. The films are better under-
William Raban, Broadwalk of the printing process. They are non-nar- experimental data. The subjects that I what the soundtrack should be. A simple
1977 stood as events that emerge from his plas-
rative, careful orchestrations of repeated choose are not those that most easily sug- music track seemed inappropriate, too
tic concerns with film process. In other gest a filmic structure but are subjects much like background music for its own
“Leading Light uses the camera-eye to words, the meaning of Le Grice’s films and filmic landscape. But the process of individual frames of footage originally loop footage. Shower Proof is printed on
reinterpreting a rigorous time-lapse sys- sourced from television as waves of elec- increasingly high-contrast negative. The which cannot be verbalized. For me, film sake with little relationship to the struc-
reveal the irregular beauty of a familiar stems principally from a direct exploita-
tem of recording into an intuited one of tronic sound wash over the shimmering image grows from the abstract, yet plain- is a language with which we can study ture of the visuals, whilst attempts at a
space. When we inhabit a room we are tion of film’s physical properties; film more constructed rhythmic track intro-
re-recording might suggest that Raban figure. ly anthropomorphic, steadily through to our own visual thought processes. Each duced extraneous ‘off-screen’ informa-
only unevenly aware of the space held in can be physically manipulated, for
has some reservations about the hegemo- Contrasting colours and optical patterns the personal, yet non-specific – we see new film can create its own language for tion taking the viewer outside of the
it and the possible forms of vision which instance, not merely in the act of expos-
ny of any system and feels the need to intensify the illusion that Lis Rhodes’ neither the man’s nor the woman’s face in this visual discussion and can be explored experience of simply watching the film
reside there. The camera-eye documents ing it to light in a camera, but also
insert a measure of spontaneous experi- Dresden Dynamo appears to hover in detail – and back. The film explores the and contained within its own terms.” itself. I was looking for a soundtrack that
and returns our apprehension. Vertov through direct control of its developing
ence.” deep space between the viewer and the relation between form and movement. Jenny Okun, Arts Council Film- provided an equivalence for the visuals
imagined a ‘single room’ made up of a and printing. It is easy to be misled into themselves. The soundtrack on the exist-
Deke Dusinberre, British Avant- screen. The visual rhythm is so strong that Makers on Tour catalogue, 1980
montage of many different rooms. Smith thinking that such concerns with the tech- ing print is the “Missa Pange Lingua’” by
reverses this aspect of ‘creative geogra- nical properties of film necessarily result Garde Landscape Films programme Garratt’s Versailles I & II breaks down a despite the film being silent the viewer Josquin des Pres. It was combined with
phy’ by showing how many rooms the notes, 1975 conventional travelogue into repetitive, has a strong aural impression.” DRESDEN DYNAMO
in a certain dehumanization of the film the visuals in 1982. This music was in
camera can create from just one.” activity. The confusion results from an rhythmic sections. Verina Glaessner, “Directory of UK fact recorded for a later film. During the
“Initially, the scale of screen speed was Roger Hewins employs optical masking Independent Film-Makers”, Cinema “The enduring importance of Lis Rhodes editing of this film I became interested in
A.L. Rees, Unpacking 7 Films pro- inability to see that the filmmaker is also
determined by the intermittency of to create impossible ‘real time’ events Rising No.1, April 1972 as artist and film-maker is attributable to the ‘out-takes’, where singers had made
gramme notes, 1980 an actor; i.e. a man who acts with film.
frames. Within this broad framework, which, though prosaic, appear to take on her quiet and powerful radicalism. mistakes injecting sudden interruptions in
By making explicit the materials and Rhodes’ work juxtaposes an artistically the four-part medieval harmonies. Not
FOCUS processes of the film, the film maker which reduces the whole daylight period an almost sacred affectation in AT THE ACADEMY
to minutes, the film studies a more spe- Windowframe. and theoretically rigorous practice with only did the religious music resonate the
allows us to see his film not just as a fin- passionate commitment. She has devel- stained glass quality of the images, but
“Taking the relocating enumerative cific minor scale of speed changes occur- “In making films, I am not trying to say
ished object but as one event (and not
ring inside the twenty-second frame Annabel Nicolson, Slides, 1970, colour, something, but to find out about some- oped a mode of film-making inspired but also the four-part structure and its inter-
placement of ‘static’ reality in Bedroom always the culminating event) in a whole
interval. In order to make this more silent, 12m (18fps) thing. But what one tries to find out, and not enslaved by feminism, which has sus- ruptions provided the auditory equiva-
to its ultimate conclusion; a film whose series of events that make up a continuum lence for the overall structure of the film.
apparent, I refilmed the original from the Fred Drummond, Shower Proof, 1968, how one tries to find it out, reveals what tained and grown regardless of fashion-
‘repetitions’ are as close to mechanistic of film activity. And this is a remarkably
screen at a speed which was high enough b/w, silent, 10m (18fps) one is saying.” able trends in art and representation.”
processes (loops) as the human camera- courageous and personal thing to do: for, Roger Hewins, 2002
Gill Henderson, A Directory of
SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT 5
DIVERSIFICATIONS tension rises, later to explode in accepted relationship between sound “I think Talla is a hard film for most peo- placed in a park. The basic system way, river, or some other obstacle. 2. cation or implication.”
spectacularly bending, twisting sin- and image, the suggestive power of ple. It’s a very psychological and myste- involves a windmill directly in front of Something that resembles this in shape or Stephen Dwoskin, Film Is: The
International Free Cinema, 1975
gle-frame bursts. language. rious film. It starts out, in one primitive the camera, so that as the blades pass by function: his letters provided a bridge
From personal montage through to The brief, rapid-fire collage White Chinese images and slogans are way, from the interplay of the black and the lens they act as a second shutter, as a across the centuries. subtitle n. 1. an “A film that is almost a life style. Long
exploration of the cinematic process, Lite by Jeff Keen is made up of baf- transformed by split-screen, the white. I was interested in this white paradigm for the first shutter. The blades additional subordinate title given to a lit- enough and big enough in scope to be
the work was sensuous and playful. fling layers of live action, stop- ingrained dirt and hand-held photog- screen on which things appear black. It’s are covered in melanex, a mirrored fabric. erary or other work. 2. (often pl.) Also able to safely include boredom, blank-
As a creative group, the Co-op cov- motion, obliteration and assemblage. raphy to create a visual pun in Ian highly orchestrated, in terms of the black The varying speeds of the blades present called: caption. Films. a. a written trans- screens, bad footage. The kind of film
that is analogous in a symbolic way to
ered vital aesthetic ground and resis- Anne Rees-Mogg’s Muybridge Film, Kerr’s film, from “Persisting in our and white qualities of the image. There’s the spectator with varying perceptual data lation superimposed on a film that has something like the ‘stream of life’ – no
ted categorisation. This programme in homage to the pioneer of motion struggle” to Persisting in our vision. something that’s coming out in this work, which require different approaches to the foreign dialogue. b. explanatory text on a one would ever criticize looking out of
does not pursue a single theme or photography, constructs a playful in the mythological kind of subject – image. When moving slowly, they act as silent film. vb. 3. (tr.; usually passive) to the window as being boring sometimes.
concept, rather it demonstrates the film by breaking down a sequence Annabel Nicolson, Shapes, 1970, Chronos Fragmented and the Cyclops a repoussoir, heightening the sense of provide a subtitle for. subtitular adj. It’s not a film – more like an event com-
colour, silent, 7m (18fps) deep space. At a moderate speed, they act
and all of that stuff – that Talla is playing soundtrack n. 1. the recorded sound posed of the collective ideas and attempts
Marilyn Halford, Footsteps, 1974, on. The shot material is actually on a very as an extra shutter which fragments ‘nor- accompaniment to a film. Compare com- in film of several years. Like a personal
b/w, sound, 6m obscure bit of Dartmoor, and Dartmoor mal’ motion, emphasizing movement mentary (sense 2). 2. A narrow strip diary: humorous, wry, sad, ecstatic.
Malcolm Le Grice, Talla, 1968, b/w, Prison and the warders there. So there’s within the deeper plane and critiquing the along the side of a spool of film, which Concerned with texture, with seeing and
not seeing, light and darkness, even life
silent, 20m that element of the threatening, mysteri- notion of ‘normality’ in cinematic carries the sound accompaniment …
and death. Monumental not in size alone,
Jeff Keen, White Lite, 1968, b/w, ous bit of society which is something that motion. When moving quite fast, the Wave Upon Wave of Wheatfield.” but in its breadth of concept. Relaxed
silent, 2.5m you can’t get into, the dark side of the blades act as abstract images superim- Ian Kerr, 2002 enough to be able to let one idea run on
Anne Rees-Mogg, Muybridge Film, social. It’s also very mythical, in that theposed on the landscape image and flat- for twenty minutes before switching to
1975, b/w, silent, 5m gods and ghosts of that landscape are tening the two planes into one. And when another. The exact opposite of most film-
Stephen Dwoskin, Moment, 1968, floating around there in the mist. It was the blades are stopped (or almost so) a * * * making which attempts to keep the audi-
colour, sound, 12m completely edited directly on 16mm completely new space is created – not ence ‘interested’ by rapidly changing
Chris Welsby, Windmill II, 1973, using a magnifying glass, I didn’t edit it only does the new (reflected) deep space THE EPIC FLIGHT from one form or idea to another, to
exclude boredom and participation. A
colour, sound, 10m at all through a viewer. I thought of it contain objects in foreground and back-
‘super-Le Grice’ in that it has inherent
John Smith, The Girl Chewing Gum, symphonically, in terms of the lengths ground to affirm its depth, but these sensitivity and humanity, as well as
1976, b/w, sound, 12m and orchestration. There’s an element of objects are seen in anamorphosis (due to An extended personal odyssey which, superlative and highly inventive tech-
Ian Kerr, Persisting, 1975, colour, propheticness in there…” the irregular surface of the melanex) through an accumulation of visual infor- nique. It opens up film-making by includ-
sound, 10m Malcolm Le Grice, interview with which effectively re-flattens them; the mation, builds into a treatise on the expe- ing such self-conscious ethics as those
Mark Webber, 2001 variations in the mirror surface create dis- rience of seeing. Its loose, indefinable propounded by Warhol etc. as a natural
(Total running time approximately tortions which violate (or at least call structure explores new possibilities for part of the film ethic as a whole.”
85m) WHITE LITE attention to) the normal function of the perception and narrative. Mike Dunford, Cinemantics No. 1,
lens of the camera.” January 1970
SHAPES “Watch the ghost of Bela Lugosi decay Deke Dusinberre, “St. George in the Reinforcing the idea of the mythopoeic “Mare’s Tail is one of the finest achieve-
before your very eyes. A sequel to Plan 9 Forest: The English Avant-Garde”, discourse and the historically romantic ments in cinema. It is a masterpiece that
“I tried to make a kind of environment in From Outer Space.” Afterimage No. 6, 1976 view of the artist-filmmaker, Mare’s Tail everyone in the country should get to see.
the room where I lived in Kentish Town Jeff Keen/Deke Dusinberre, “Interim is a legend, consisting of layers of sounds To write about it is about as difficult as
Annabel Nicholson, Shapes and to make a film within it. There were Jeff Keen Filmography with Arbitrary “Formalism has grown up in parallel with and images that reveal each other over an conveying the essence of magic, the
pieces of paper and screwed up, transpar- Annotations”, Afterimage No. 6, 1976 the development of an advanced technol- extended period. It’s a personal vision, an meaning of existence, the quality of love
broad range of work that was pro- into its constituent frames. ent gels hanging from the ceiling; it was ogy. The medium of landscape film aggregation of experience, memories and or the shadows of a receding dream. For
the film is pure myth, a living organism in
duced during this time. Moment is an unmediated look, erot- quite dense in some parts. I wandered “Keen is indebted to the Surrealist tradi- brings to organic life the language of for- moments overlaid with indecipherable
its own right, a creation whose infinite
ic but not explicit, as saturated as its through it with a camera and then other tion for many of his central concerns: his malism. It is a language shared by both intonations and altered musics. The col- complexity makes criticism of it a shal-
The exposition section of Annabel celluloid. It’s a key work of parts were filmed on the rooftop at St passion for instability, his sense of le film-makers and painters. In painting, lected footage is extensively manipulat- low irrelevancy (or at best a crude
Nicolson’s Shapes reveals its tactile Dwoskin’s early sensual portraits of Martins. I think I was just very much try- merveilleux, his fondness for analogies particularly American painting of the ed, through refilming, superimposition or mythology). The achievement is that the
evolution, as visible dirt is made evi- solitary girls, in which the returning ing to find my way in a whole new area of and puns, his preference for ‘lowbrow’ art 1950s, formalistic thinking became man- direct chemical treatment. The observer film never looks like a mere catalogue of
dent by the step-printing technique. stare challenges our objective / sub- work. I remember it involved a lot of re- over aestheticism of any kind, his dedica- ifest in the dictum ‘truth to materials’, may slip in and out of the film as it runs special effects – the vision is integrated,
Moving into real time, the multiple jective gaze. filming, which was the part I liked. The tion to collage and le hazard objectif. But placing the emphasis on paint and canvas its course; it does not demand constant relaxed, spontaneous and too fluid for
layers of superimposition present Chris Welsby’s Windmill II is one of process was very fluid, similar to paint- this ‘continental’ facet of his work – vir- as the subject of the work. In film, partic- attention, though persistence is rewarded there to be any sense of contrivance in
this staggering display of inventive
strange spatial dimensions as the a series in which propeller blades ing. I got quite interested in the specks of tually unique in this country – co-exists ularly the independent work done in by experience after the full projection has
curiosity. The immense diversity of tech-
filmmaker toys with light, moving rotate in front of the camera, acting dust and dirt on the film and the re-film- with various typically English character- England, it manifests itself by emphasiz- been endured. nique runs hand-in-hand with a sustained
among the paper structures in her as a second shutter, controlled by an ing gave me a chance to look at that more istics, which betray other roots. The tacky ing the filmic process as the subject of the
room. unpredictable and natural force. In closely. Probably the thing that attracted glamour/True Beauty of his Family Star work. The synthesis between these for-
Footsteps engages the camera (view- this instance, the blades are backed me to film was the light … the kind of productions is at least as close to the end malistic concerns of independent film
er) in a playful game of “statues”. with a reflective material that offers floating quality you can get, images sus- of Brighton pier as it is to Hollywood B- and the organic quality of landscape
The film was often presented as a a glance back at the recording device pended in light. Looking at it now, the movies… The heroic absurdity and adult imagery is inevitably the central issue of
live performance in which Marilyn intermittent with the zoetropic view kind of paintings I was doing before were infantilism that are the mainsprings of his contemporary landscape film. It is this
Halford crept up on her own project- of the park. floating shapes. It seems to me that the comedy draw on a long tradition of post- attempt to integrate the forms of technol-
ed likeness. In The Girl Chewing Gum, by John kind of things I was looking for I should Victorian humour: not the ‘innocent’ vul- ogy with the forms found in nature which
Le Grice’s Talla adopts an almost Smith, the narration appears to direct be able to do with film. When I make a garity of music hall, but the anarchicness gives the art of landscape its relevance in
mythical pose. Images slowly everyday life before breaking down, film, I’m not sure what I’m ever trying to of The Goons and the self-lacerating the twentieth century.”
encroach on the frame as the visual causing the viewer to question the achieve … it kind of gets clearer to me as ironies of the 30s clowns, complete with Chris Welsby, Perspectives on British
I’m doing it.” their undertow of melancholia.” Avant-Garde Film exhibition catalogue,
Annabel Nicolson, interview with Tony Rayns, “Born to Kill: Mr. Soft 1977
Mark Webber, 2002 Eliminator”, Afterimage No. 6, 1976
THE GIRL CHEWING GUM
“Compassion; care; love; appreciation; MUYBRIDGE FILM
attention. Quietude; silence; slowness; “I am writing this with a black ‘Tempo’
gentleness; subtlety; lyricism; beauty. It “I started making films in 1966, and fiber-tip pen. A few months ago, I bought
is terms like these that Annabel teaching filmmaking in 1967. Before that fifteen of these pens for sixty pence.
Nicolson’s films can be discussed in I had been painting and drawing and Unfortunately, because they are so com-
(exploratory would be another), if they exhibiting at the Beaux Arts Gallery and mon, other people pick them up thinking
are to be discussed at all; and perhaps other places. My first film was a painter- they are theirs, so I don’t have many left
they are best left to themselves, and to the ly study of interference colours and struc- now. I bought the pens from a market in
receptive eye, mind, and soul of the view- tures of soap bubbles (Nothing is Kingsland Road in Hackney, about a hun-
er. They are humble, unpretentious, Something). At the same time I made a dred yards from where the film was shot.
searching, and thoughtful films: they are 16mm home movie of my nephews which The film draws attention to the cinematic David Larcher, Mare’s Tail
reverent, after a style, and should be seen was called Relations. I realized two codes and illusions it incorporates by
with a similar sort of reverence. The things, one that film is not about move- denying their existence, treating repre- While studying at the Royal College of simplicity of treatment. You’re aware of a
ephemeral thing, by this compassionate ment, and that the figurative and narrative sentation as absolute reality.” Art, David Larcher made a first film KO mind that is open and loving toward
attention, is given the aspect of timeless- possibilities of the second film were what John Smith, “Directory of (1964-65, with soundtrack composed by everything: and this loving openness of
I wanted to explore. Eight years later I Independent British Cinema”, Philip Glass), which was subsequently response transfigures every image in the
ness which transcends mere nostalgia: the film, as it eventually transfigures the
thing is seen ‘under the aspect of eterni- made the film I should have made then, a Independent Cinema No. 1, 1978 disassembled and small sections incorpo- viewer too…”
ty’.” small film called Muybridge Film in rated in Mare’s Tail (a recurrent practise John Du Cane, Time Out, 1972
David Miller, Paragraphs On Some which I explored all the filmic possibili- “In relinquishing the more subtle use of that continues through his later works).
Films by Annabel Nicolson Seen in ties of someone turning a cartwheel.” voice-over in television documentary, the Encouraged by contact with true inde- “A film that is undoubtedly one of the
March 1973 Anne Rees-Mogg, Arts Council Film- film draws attention to the control and pendent filmmakers like Peter Whitehead most important produced in this country
Makers on Tour catalogue, 1980 directional function of that practice: and Conrad Rooks, Larcher set out on to and that stands comparison with the best
FOOTSTEPS document his own life in a quasi-autobio- from the United States. It’s as if it were
graphical manner. the first film in the world. When Mare’s
Tail first appeared it was compared to
“Footsteps is in the manner of a game Though financed by wealthy patron Alan Brakhage’s Art of Vision, as an examina-
reinacted, the game in making was Power, Mare’s Tail was, in its technical tion of ways of seeing. The comparison
between the camera and actor, the actor fabrication, a self-sufficient project made can be taken further: as Brakhage is to the
and cameraman, and one hundred feet of before the Co-op had any significant New American Cinema, it seems to me,
film. The film became expanded into pos- workshop equipment. At times, Larcher so Larcher should be considered to the
itive and negative to change balances was living in a truck, and stories of films New English Cinema… Mare’s Tail is not
within it; black for perspective, then processed in public lavatories in the only about vision but proposes an episte-
Scottish Highlands do not seem far from mology of film, particularly in its first
black to shadow the screen and make reel: revealing basic elements of film in
paradoxes with the idea of acting, and the the truth. His relationship to the Co-op an almost didactic fashion: grain, frame,
act of seeing the screen. The music sets a has always been slightly distanced, strip, projector, light. We see a film in
mood then turns a space, remembers the though his lifestyle impressed and influ- perpetual process, being put together,
positive then silences the flatness of the enced many of the younger, more mar- being formed out of these attitudes. The
negative. I am interested in the relation- ginal figures. first reel is a ‘lexicon’ to the whole film –
ship of theatrical devices in film working His next film, Monkey’s Birthday (1975, to film in general – holding together what
at tangents with its abstract visual quali- six hours long), was shot over several is essentially an open-ended structure to
years’ travels across the world with his which pieces could be continually added
ties. The use of a game works the memo- and offering us a way to read that film. It
ry, anticipation is set, positive film stands entourage, and this time made full use of is at once a kind of autobiography and a
to resemble a three-dimensional sense of the Co-op processor to achieve its psy- film about making that autobiography.”
time in past/future. Then negative holds chedelic effect. Simon Field, “The Light of the Eyes”,
out film itself as the image is one stage Art and Artists, December 1972
further abstracted and a disquiet is set up David Larcher, Mare’s Tail, 1969, colour,
in the point that the sound track ends, sound, 143m “Pierre Boulez came to a screening of
whilst the picture track continues.” Mare’s Tail at Robert Street once. Simon
Marilyn Halford, Perspectives on “From one flick of the mare’s tail came Hartog said, “Oh, I sent my father to see
Mare’s Tail”, his father was an impresario
British Avant-Garde Film exhibition cata- John Smith, The Girl Chewing Gum an unending stream of images out of for people like Joan Sutherland and
logue, 1977 which was crystalised the milky way. Pierre Boulez, and it turned out that
imposing, judging, creating an imaginary Primitive, picaresque cinema.” (David Boulez came and was sat behind us. I’d
“We’d just got one of these Russian film MOMENT scene from a visual trace. This ‘Big Larcher) been living in trucks and I’d just come up
developing tanks, that you can load 100 Brother’ is not only looking at you but and it happened to be the same day. I
feet of black and white film into and “Moment presents a continuous, fixed ordering you about as the viewer’s identi- MARE’S TAIL went along and found this old tramp
develop it yourself, which is very appeal- gaze by the camera at a girl’s face. The fication shifts from the people in the called Eric – this famous character who
fixity, although paralleling the spectator’s street to the camera eye overlooking the “Now you see it, now you don’t. Waiting was around in those days, early ’70s –
ing because it means you haven’t got all room cinema from the mountain top to and took him along. We were sitting there
the palaver of going to labs. Footsteps is position, nevertheless marks itself off as scene. The resultant voyeurism takes on the car park, an alternative to television. and then I suddenly realised Boulez was
based, obviously, on a game. Now whose ‘different’ from our view because it refus- an uncanny aspect as the blandness of the The good, the bad and the indifferent. behind. After half an hour he said, “C’est
early work would I have seen that es the complex system of movements, scene (shot in black and white on a grey Some consider it self-indulgent but me le perfection,” and walked out with
prompted that? I think the image itself cuts, ‘invisible’ transitions, etc. which day in Hackney) contrasts with the near has a duty to itself. Bring what you Simon’s father!”
came from René Clair. That slightly classic cinema developed to capture our ‘magical’ control identified with the expect to find. Not structural but starting David Larcher, interview with Mark
rough black and white image I like very ‘subjectivity’ and absorb it into the filmic voice. The most surprising effect is the in the beginning from the Webber, 2001
much – the idea of it not mattering if it’s text. In this way, the distinction between ease with which representation and beginning…organic…prima
materia…impressionable massa con-
got speckly and dusty. It had a certain the looks of the camera at the profilmic description turn into phantasm through fusa…out of which some original naming
degree of antiquity built into it which, to event and of the viewer at the image is the determining power of language.” and ordering processes spring…they are
me, was quite liberating because it’s hard emphasized. Moreover, the sadistic com- Michael Maziere, “John Smith’s not named, but rather nailed into the cel-
to keep it all dust free and so forth. ponents inherent in the pleasurable exer- Films: Reading the Visible”, Undercut luloid. “Please don’t expect me to answer
Anyway, that’s how I wanted it, I wanted cise of the ‘controlling’ gaze (a basic fact 10/11, 1984 the question I’m having a hard time not
it to look old even before it started, like without which no cinema could exist) are falling out of this chair” syndrome.”
old footage. Consequently it’s got the returned to the viewer, as it is he/she who PERSISTING David Larcher, Arts Council Film-
Scott Joplin soundtrack, “The must construct the ‘scenario’ by combin- Makers on Tour catalogue, 1980
Entertainer”; just because it’s amusing ing a reading of the image (slight move- “Thee gap in between, perception and “Mare’s Tail is an epic flight into inner
and also to add that aged thing to it. The ments of the woman, colour changes in awareness of perception of moment is space. It is a 2 and 3/4 hour visual accu-
first time it goes through it’s in negative her face, facial expressions, etc.) with an Persisting. To put it in context, it works mulation in colour, the film-maker’s per-
so you wouldn’t necessarily see what was imagined (but suggested) series of hap- like this, like these. Acceleration of sens- sonal odyssey, which becomes the
going on, so you would have a lot of penings off-screen. The result is a narra- es in TV culture makes for rash decisions. odyssey of each of us. It is a man’s life
questions and curiosity as to what was tive: the progressive excitement of a Momentary vision. Speed kills. Speed transposed into a visual realm, a realm of
happening. And then when all is revealed woman who masturbates.” lies. Very fast glimpses of one image spirits and demons, which unravel as
the right way round, it is just so simple, Paul Willemen, Perspectives on mean you learn more in a time period, in mystical totalities until reality fragments.
Every movement begins a journey. There
it’s just such a simple game. I suppose the British Avant-Garde Film catalogue, a sense speed slows down our attention. are spots before your eyes, as when you
performance part of it just grew out of 1977 Very fast glimpses of different images look at the sun that flames and burns. We
that, to extend it really, it was another mean we absorb subliminally a little of look at distant moving forms and flash
way of presenting it – to take part and to “In one long take, a girl whose face we many things. Speed is speeding up our through them. We drift through suns; a
play the game with the film image itself.” see in close-up throughout, smokes and attention. So time is material. Can be piece of earth phases over the moon. A
Marilyn Halford, interview with Mark excites herself, her eyes resting at manipulated. Can exist an one or more face, your face, his face, a face that looks
Webber, 2001 moments on the camera as if in a suppli- speeds simultaneously. Subject. Where is and splits into shapes that form new
cation which is also an utterly resigned camera, is camera present. Are we aware shapes that we rediscover as tiny mono-
accusation of film-maker and spectator lithic monuments. A profile as a full face.
TALLA of camera, who is being looked at, what The moon again, the flesh, the child, the
alike. Not for their curiosity, which may is happening, are we learning. Is it good room and the waves become part of a
“Talla is the most narrative/subjective after all be far from devoid or reverence to expect to learn. Is there actually such a hieroglyphic language… Mare’s Tail is
film I have yet made. Because all the for the human mystery, but for a willful thing as a valid subject. Does it matter. To an important film because it expresses
material was shot by me in a week or so self-withholding which is the standard be aware is to exist on levels simultane- life. It follows Paul Klee’s idea that a
it has location continuity, which becomes human relationship. Here are three soli- ously trusting none as finite.” visually expressive piece adds “more
very important in the film. The pace of tudes, and the film’s climax occurs after Genesis P. Orridge, “Three Absent spirit to the seen” and also “makes secret
the cutting is still fast and images still the girl’s, in her uneasy satiety, a convul- Guesses”, Edinburgh Film Festival pro- visions visible”. Like other serious films
sion returning her, and us, to an accentu- gramme notes, 1978 and works of art, it keeps on seeking and
work from perception to conception or seeing, as the film-maker does, as the
perhaps in this film – to ‘feeling’. ation of the nothing from which she fled.” artist does. It follows the transience of
However, there is no consistent building Ray Durgnat, Sexual Alienation in the “persist vb. (intr.) 1. (often foll. by in) to life and nature, studying things closely,
up of pace and the fast-cut pieces are held Cinema, 1972 continue steadfastly or obstinately moving into vast space, coming in close
within pauses so that there are often despite opposition or difficulty. 2. to con- again. The course it follows is profound-
‘clusters’ of images diving out of a main- WINDMILL II tinue to exist or occur without interup- ly real and profoundly personal: Introductory programme notes by Mark
Larcher’s trip becomes our trip to experi-
ly calm field.” “A reflexiveness using the camera shutter tion: the rain persisted throughout the ence. It cannot be watched impatiently,
Webber, with thanks to Al Rees.
Excerpted paragraphs on each film were assem-
Malcolm Le Grice, Interfunktionen 4, as a technical referent can be seen in night. bridge n. 1. A structure that spans with expectation; it is no good looking bled by Travis Miles and Mark Webber.
March 1970 Welsby’s Windmill II. The camera is and provides a passage over a road, rail- for generalization, condensation, compli- Copyright remains with their original authors.
6 SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT
LONDON FILM-MAKERS CO-OP CHRONOLOGY OF events at Better Books, organised by Bob Robert Fraser Gallery has prints of exper- more ‘serious’ work at Arts Lab – during many of these film-makers had been Markopoulos and Martial Raysse
EVENTS AND Cobbing & Gustav Metzger – screenings imental film and will not loan them for 1968 Stan Vanderbeek, Gregory clearly moving in this direction before
94 CHARING CROSS ROAD LONDON DEVELOPMENTS 1966-76 include Kurt Kren’s Actionist films and screenings – desperate to get promised Markopolous (Gammelion), Warren similar North American work had arrived 4 OCTOBER 1969
WC2 John Latham’s Speak – nature of event New American Cinema films – Co-op use Sonbert and Marguerite Paris (represent- in London New Arts Lab aka Institute for Research
leads to significant media and public Spontaneous Festival profits to buy 6 ing Millennium Film Workshop and into Art & Technology (IRAT) opens –
A DETAILED GUIDE TO attention films from Robert Pike’s Creative Film showing Charles Levine) all present 12-17 NOVEMBER 1968 David Curtis runs the cinema, while
PRESS CONFERENCE Society including works by Ian Hugo, shows, though none deposit films for Co- Curtis and Dwoskin travel to the six-day Malcolm Le Grice and Carla Liss organ-
THE PERIOD
Plans to use Jeanetta Cochrane Theatre Kuri, Al Sens, Paul Bartel, Scott Bartlett, op distribution. “Europ” (European Co-op) meeting at the ise the Co-op – following an initial con-
date: thursday 20th october 1966
time: 11 a m Excerpted from a work-in-progress, with (set up by Jim Haynes) for late night Robert Pike – by this time Co-op have Undependent Film Centre in Munich – tact through Carolee Schneemann, Le
place: better books new compton street shop particular bias toward the early formative independent screenings – new Co-op approximately 8 hours of films, and JANUARY 1968 film-makers Birgit and Wilhelm Hein Grice persuades American financier
(adjoining 94 charing X rd) years draft constitution includes renamed mag- British film-makers slowly begin to start John Collins presents screening at psy- invite over 40 colleagues to the meeting, Victor Herbert to donate £3,000 towards
azine (Cinim) and outlines structure of making work chedelic club Middle Earth which was which is inconclusive, only leading to the Co-op equipment and purchases Debrie
announcing: 1966 the organisation raided by police – Collins impulsively publication of Supervisuell magazine step printer and Houston-Fewless
the foundation of the london film-makers co- Bob Cobbing (a concrete poet who had Matusow thrown out of Co-op due to sus- moves event to basement of planned (edited by Klaus Schoener) – plans for a neg/reversal processor – installed by
operative new member of the international previously organised film societies and 13 OCTOBER 1966 picion of motives based on alleged pilfer- “Boooooks” store which was also raided European co-op had evolved from discus- crane, the equipment damages the adjoin-
association of film co-operatives other arts clubs in Hendon and Finchley) London Film-Makers’ Co-operative ing from Spontaneous Festival receipts – after complaints from residents – leads to sions initiated by P. Adams Sitney and ing pub forcing Le Grice and Drummond
left teaching in 1965 to work in paper- (LFMC) officially formed at meeting at replaced by new executive committee of the loss of lease for the new shop and Shirley Clarke at Knokke – Curtis sees to fix the brickwork – during IRAT peri-
the movement: back department of Better Books shop on Better Books: Matusow as chairman, Cobbing, Dwoskin, Hartog, Trevor Collins again parts company with Rohfilm (W+B Hein) and recognises aes- od LFMC filmmakers make many signif-
avant-garde low budget non-commercial New Compton Street (around the corner Cobbing and Francis secretaries – Co-op Peters, John Collins Cobbing and the Co-op thetic similarities with Le Grice, whose icant works
films are today being made here in london in
from 94 Charing Cross Road) – organises draft telegram to Mekas, declaring inten- Talla is also screened – at this time
greater numbers than most people realise sim- 29 APRIL 1967 30 JANUARY – 27 FEBRUARY 1968
ilar groups of young film-makers are active in
Cinema 65 film club there showing for- tion to “shoot shoot shoot” – unlikely that Germany has 3 regional co-ops, as well Annabel Nicolson moves to London,
both the united states and countries throughout eign, experimental, non-commercial and the telegram was ever sent, it may just “14-Hour Technicolor Dream”, hippy Malcolm Le Grice, a painter who had as P.A.P. (Progressive Art Productions starts to visit Co-op and becomes
europe seeking to free and therefore widen unknown films – Ray Durgnat, Philip have been mocked-up by Hartog for London’s gathering of the tribes, at graduated from the Slade in 1963, takes distribution and print sales) – Austrian, involved in IRAT Gallery – had already
this art-form from the ties of industry and high Crick, John Collins in frequent atten- reproduction in Cinim and elsewhere Alexandra Palace – intended as fund rais- Curtis to the “Young Contemporaries Dutch and Italian co-ops also present at made first film Abstract No. 1 under
finance which have bound it so far now with dance at regular Friday night screenings – er for IT but too many tickets were given 1968” show at the Royal Institute meeting influence of Len Lye / Norman McLaren
the formation of the london film-makers co-op in ’65 the screenings are meant to pro- away for free – live bands inc. Pink Galleries which includes Photo Film and later significantly influences trend to
an important link in the world-wide chain of voke and encourage; by ’66, it becomes Floyd, Crazy World of Arthur Brown, (Based on Muybridge) by Fred NOVEMBER 1968 expanded and participatory film pieces
non-commercial ‘underground’ film-making is apparent that more coherent organisation Alexis Korner, The Pretty Things, The Drummond, Horizon by Lutz Becher and Carla Liss returns to New York and nego-
established at the press conference plans will is needed as more people become inter- Move, plus happenings (Yoko Ono), work by other St. Martins students of Le tiates with Mekas – agreement to send the NOVEMBER 1969
be outlined for a major london festival of ested in making and distributing films – films and light shows – BBC TV make Grice NAC prints from the previous European ‘RAT Cinema’ opens with several screenings of
‘underground’ films from around the world films usually projected in the shop (sur- the documentary “Man Alive: What Is A tour to London on condition that Liss will Mare’s Tail (which is distributed by Other
london film-makers co-operative magazine rounded by books), and only occasional- Happening?” at the event LATE FEBRUARY 1968 manage them – Bob Cobbing demands an Cinema, not the Co-op) – Open Screenings
CINIM no 1 will appear in a fortnight ly in the basement (which was used for Le Grice shows Castle One (The Light “Extraordinary General Meeting” (some held every Tuesday – projection at IRAT done
poetry, exhibitions and theatre / happen- JULY 1967 Bulb Film) at Arts Lab under pseudonym resentment at the hiring of an American) mostly by Fred Drummond, Al Deval, Graham
born on october 13th london film-makers co- Second issue of Cinim (edited by Philip “Minima Maas” and becomes directly Ewens and Mike Leggett – access to own the-
operative has already held one highly success-
ings, such as Jeff Nuttall’s People Show)
Crick, designed and produced by Steve involved with Co-op activities – Curtis Malcolm Le Grice mounts his exhibition atre space provides filmmakers with more free-
ful all-night viewing of ‘underground’ films to
MARCH 1966 Dwoskin, published by the Co-op) and Le Grice (with Drew Elliot) draw up “Location? Duration?” in the Arts Lab dom to experiment with projection and expand-
capacity audience
Jonas Mekas posts an open letter to New plans for processing/printing equipment gallery – large paintings, constructions, ed cinema – English Film-Makers’ series show-
harvey matusow: chairman York Film-Makers’ Co-operative mem- SUMMER 1967 to be housed at Arts Lab drawings and films – his screenings on 1 cases new films coming out of the workshop –
paul francis bob cobbing: joint secretaries bers stating that, through the persistence UFO club closes (later to be revitalised at & 2 November include recent works Peter Weibel & Valie Export, Wilhelm & Birgit
of Barbara Rubin, a London Co-op is the Roundhouse) – Jim Haynes and Jack 17 MARCH 1968 completed on new printing / processing Hein, Warren Sonbert and other international
forming and will be run by Barry Miles, Henry Moore lease 182 Drury Lane for “Battle of Grosvenor Square” anti- equipment which hint at Co-op’s materi- filmmakers present shows during this period
LONDON FILMMAKERS and based at Indica (a bookstore and the Arts Lab Vietnam War demonstration is document- alist direction for next few years
COOPERATIVE gallery on Southampton Row) – planned ed by a group of Co-op filmmakers Curtis travels to USA for 2 weeks – goes to
film fundraiser at Albert Hall (following AUGUST 1967 including Dwoskin, Hartog and Michael 18 NOVEMBER 1968 New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles to
13A PRINCE OF WALES CRESCENT on from the “Wholly Communion” poet- Co-op Bulletin No. 5 announces plans for Nyman – some footage sold to BBC TV David Curtis and 10 others resign from gather material for his book Experimental
LONDON NW1 TEL. 267-4907 ry reading, which featured Ginsberg, lecture series on various aspects of film- news Arts Lab following disagreements with Cinema, which will be written over next 18
Ferlinghetti, and Trocchi the previous 15 OCTOBER 1966 making to encourage production – John Jack Moore over the future direction of months
year) – talk of establishing London Co-op First official Co-op screening forms part Collins made executive officer of Co-op, APRIL 1968 the organisation – Sandy Daley takes
PRESS RELEASE of the Roundhouse Rave – launch party but is later asked to leave for allegedly Curtis and Hartog arrange 12 city univer- over management of cinema – Arts Lab is
as base for European distribution
of IT (International Times) newspaper embezzling profits from Cinim sity tour for P. Adams Sitney’s massive forced to close by bad debts six months FURTHER READING
The London Filmmakers Cooperative
will inaugurate its cinema which was MAY 1966 held at the Roundhouse – includes Pink “Travelling Avant-Garde Film later
Mekas says in second letter that the Floyd, Soft Machine and 6-hour film pro- 18 AUGUST 1967 Exposition” that premieres at the NFT A BRIEF BIBLIOGRAPHY
built by Coop filmmakers on 10 of
September at 4:00p.m. with a press LFMC will start in July – plans to spend gramme featuring Balch, Dwoskin, and Negotiated by Curtis, Cobbing and Co-op 22-28 April – tour has an huge effect on 26 NOVEMBER 1968
showing of new films from the Film $2,000 on prints for 3 programmes for Latham – IT, the press organ for the hold first screening at Drury Lane Arts burgeoning critics and film-makers At the Co-op meeting, Bob Cobbing, BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS
Coop library at its new premises: 13a Albert Hall show in June (the show never British cultural underground was pub- Lab (before its official opening) around the country and is first major Philip Crick and John Latham resign – Berke, Joseph (editor) Counter Culture: The
Prince of Wales Crescent. Many of the happened) – Co-op committee at this lished by Jim Haynes, John Hopkins opportunity to see this work in England – Cobbing replaced as treasurer by Le Creation of an Alternative Society (Peter
films to be shown will be having their SEPTEMBER 1967
first public screening in England. A num- time: Bob Cobbing, Phillip Crick, John (Hoppy), Barry Miles and Jack Moore, Curtis again tries to secure NAC tour Grice – by late ’69 Dwoskin and Hartog Owen, 1969)
ber of the films have been processed and Collins, Paul Francis, Simon Hartog, Ray and edited by Tim McGrath Tony Godwin sells Better Books to prints for Coop – to coincide with Essex have also left, severing ties with early Curtis, David (editor) A Directory of British
Durgnat, Michael O’Casey, Les Philby, Collins Publishers who halt all cultural University screenings, Simon Field and Better Books community Film & Video Artists (Arts Council/University
printed by the filmmakers on Coop of Luton Press, 1995)
Workshop equipment. Stewart Kington – general ethos is an 20 OCTOBER 1966 activities – Cobbing given one month’s Peter Sainsbury publish only issue of
Curtis, David Experimental Cinema: A Fifty-
enthusiasm for filmmaking (in addition to Matusow’s presence secures good atten- notice to leave – Film collection moves Platinum Following the Arts Lab walk-out, Co-op
Year Evolution (Studio Vista, 1971)
The Filmmakers’ Coop is a non-profit viewing) despite a lack of knowledge or dance to the press conference which temporarily to Dwoskin’s flat in Notting again has no permanent base – film col- Dickinson, Margaret (editor) Rogue Reels:
organization formed to help independent experience announces the Co-op at their Better Hill – office to Cobbing’s flat, then 17-18 MAY 1968 lection is housed at Covent Garden flat of Oppositional Film in Britain, 1945-90 (BFI,
filmmakers in production and distribu- Books HQ – subsequent article in Town Hartog’s, then Curtis & Biddy Peppin’s “Parallel Cinema” meeting at ICA to dis- David Curtis and Biddy Peppin, printing 1999)
tion of their films. It is organized and run
cooperatively by the filmmakers them- Harvey Matusow arrives from New York, magazine proclaims Steve Dwoskin, cuss the possibility of an independent dis- / processing equipment in Malcolm Le Durgnat, Raymond Sexual Alienation in the
selves. The Coop has the largest non- where he had been involved in fringes of Andrew Meyer, Simon Hartog, Bob 25 SEPTEMBER 1967 tribution collective – over 100 people Grice’s garage in Harrow, mail goes via Cinema (Studio Vista, 1972)
underground scene – had previously Cobbing, and Matusow “some of Arts Lab opens and includes theatre, cin- present including Marc Karlin (Cinema address of Carla Liss and Nicholas Dusinberre, Peter du Kay (Deke) English
commercial library of English, American Avant-Garde Cinema (unpublished thesis,
and European experimental, ‘avant spent time in jail for perjury during London’s most active underground film- ema, coffee shop, gallery – Haynes asks Action, later Berwick St Collective), Albery
1977)
garde’ or underground films in Europe McCarthy trials – an incorrigible hustler, makers” Curtis to run cinema in basement – opens Peter Block (24 Frames Distribution),
Dwoskin, Stephen Film Is… The International
and England. The Coop Workshop is a he got things done but aroused much sus- with disastrous week long run of Echoes Derek Hill (New Cinema Club), Ron DECEMBER 1968 Free Cinema (Peter Owen, 1975)
place where independent filmmakers can picion 31 OCTOBER – 5 NOVEMBER 1966 of Silence by Peter Emanuel Goldman – Orders and Tony Wickert (Angry Arts, Co-op holds several fundraising screen- Gidal, Peter (editor) Structural Film Anthology
experiment freely while avoiding exhor- “Spontaneous Festival of Underground Open Screenings held there every later Liberation Films), John McWilliam ings in late ’68 – early ’69 including (BFI, 1976)
bitant production costs. The workshop Films” at Jeannetta Cochrane Theatre – 6 Tuesday (Electric Cinema) and Tattooists those at All Saints Hall in Ladbroke
has facilities for processing, printing and JUNE 1966 Gidal, Peter Materialist Film (Routledge,
editing 16mm and 8mm film. Approximately 20-25 people attend 2 Co- day long schedule includes films by International (Dick Fontaine et al) – Grove and Living Arts Workshop, Surrey 1989)
op planning meetings – draft code of Dwoskin, Keen, Balch, Matusow, Meyer 26 SEPTEMBER 1967 meeting leads to a Parallel Cinema infor- Hein, Birgit Film Im Underground (Ullstein
EARLY 1969 Verlag, 1971)
Many of the films screened at the ‘press practice drawn up by Miles, Cobbing, and London School of Film Technique Malcolm Le Grice present to see Ray mation office being established at ICA –
Le Grice, Malcolm Abstract Film and Beyond
show’ will be shown at the Coop Cinema Jim Haynes, Paul Francis, M. Ellis, Peter students as well as significant interna- Durgnat introduce films by Kurt Kren at committee (led by Philip Drummond) Carolee Schneemann arrives in London
(Studio Vista, 1977)
during the course of the year. The films Whitehead and Matusow (who is named tional work by Anger, Brakhage, Mekas ICA – Curtis initiates plans for film forms with intention to establish a circuit (stays until 1973, at one point living in a Le Grice, Malcolm Experimental Cinema in
will also be screened in London (and as secretary) using Better Books address etc – just about every piece of experi- workshop at Arts Lab – 2 Co-op pro- of 50 ‘electric’ cinemas, distribute pack- tent outside Co-op) – prints Plumb Line the Digital Age (BFI, 2001)
other parts of England) at such places as as base mental film that was available in London grammes at Arts Lab in October, plus ages of short films, and provide a central at Co-op – Schneemann is one of several MacDonald, Scott A Critical Cinema 2
the New Cinema Club, and at art schools, (from Co-op, BFI, Connoisseur, Peter Kubelka in person at ICA (arranged booking agency for independent 16mm Americans who wind up in London to (University of California Press, 1992)
clubs and film s ocieties.
1 JULY 1966 Contemporary Films distribution) is by Dwoskin and Cobbing) before screen- films – Godard’s Le Gai Savoir is chosen avoid Vietnam War, and who will gradu- MacDonald, Scott A Critical Cinema 3
Letter from Paul Francis to Mekas shown – followed by 6 nights of Open ings cease following closure of Better as a test film toward establishing the cir- ate toward the Co-op inc. Barbara (University of California Press, 1998)
Underground or independently made Mekas, Jonas New American Cinema Group
films rarely get much press coverage in announces Co-op is being set up inde- Screenings at Better Books – first issue of Books on 2 October – Co-op screenings cuit – as a direct development, Peter Schwartz and Lynne Tilman
and Film-Makers’ Cooperative(s): The Early
England, even by the ‘underground’ pendent of Better Books and Indica – by IT includes 4 page supplement on the at ICA demonstrate its independence Sainsbury and Nick Hart-Williams estab-
Years (Anthology Film Archives, 1999)
press, so that all too often really fine, reply receives Western Union cable on event from the Arts Lab and reluctance to move lish The Other Cinema in 1970, which David Curtis fails to persuade the Slade Mudie, Peter “London Film-Makers’ Co-oper-
important, interesting, original or outra- 11th with message “GOOD START AND organisation there – beginning of split becomes the most active and successful to host Co-op screenings, and is refused ative” (unpublished work-in-progress)
geous films get a tiny audience that hard- GOOD SPEED WE ARE WITH YOU” NOVEMBER 1966 between ex-Better Books and Arts Lab of the independent distributors, repre- an application to the Arts Council to O’Pray, Michael (editor) The British Avant-
ly pays for the cost of the screening. This
is partly due to the fact that people have signed Brakhage, Breer, Brooks, First issue of Cinim is published; edited group’s different views on how the Co-op senting Godard, Herzog, Straub plus assist with screenings and lectures in Garde Film 1926 to 1995: An Anthology of
never heard of the film or filmmaker Emshwiller, Jacobs, Markopoulos, by Phillip Crick, designed by Lawrie should develop – 41 films in Co-op dis- Dwoskin and many political and third England and Europe – negotiations with Writings (Arts Council/University of Luton
Mekas, Vanderbeek, Brigante, Clarke, Moore, and published by the Co-op – Co- tribution library at this point world filmmakers Camden Council for their support of the Press, 1996
before. We hope this showing will gener- Rees, A.L. A History of Experimental Film and
ate some coverage of these films. It Rogosin op has about 50 members and distributes New Arts Lab – most Co-op screenings
Video (BFI, 1999)
would be especially good if something films by Dwoskin and Meyer – First AUTUMN 1967 SPRING 1968 during this time are at the Electric
Walker, John A. John Latham: The Incidental
could be written about the films prior to 12 JULY 1966 LFMC bulletin distributed to members Co-op films shown at Liverpool Bluecoat Le Grice and Hartog complete new draft Cinema on Portobello Road, organised Person, His Art and Ideas (Middlesex
their public showings. We will distribute Co-op Committee meeting at which a 5 Arts Forum festival, who also award constitution for Co-op which includes by Liss University Press, 1995)
a 1971-72 Coop Cinema program and up page draft constitution is written includ- 26 NOVEMBER 1966 money for the completion of films by provisions for liberal division of labour,
o n request can let you know where and 25-26 JANUARY 1969
when Coop films will be shown else- ing plans for screenings, distribution, Matusow complains to Mekas by letter Steve Dwoskin, Simon Hartog, Jeff Keen, and shared equipment and facilities – CATALOGUES AND
where. newsletter and quarterly magazine (then that US visitors gravitate to Indica David Larcher, John Latham and Roland agree to appoint a paid secretary for more Conference of Arts Labs organised by EXHIBITION PROGRAMMES
called Reel) – Durgnat, Francis, Hartog, “although Miles has never been to a Co- Lewis – Co-op encourages a shift to film- efficient management to generate revenue Phillippa Jeffrey and the Cambridge Arts First International Underground Film Festival
Th e new Coop Catalogu e is also avail- Matusow, Leonard Foreman, R. Hudson, op meeting” – a later letter from Barbara making rather than film watching – for film production Lab – attended by representatives from (NFT, 1970)
able upon request. and Jeff Keen write Mekas again explain- Rubin to IT staff indicates that NY film- Anthony ‘Scotty’ Scott begins to assem- Drury Lane Arts Lab, LFMC, Oxford A Survey of the Avant-Garde in Britain
ing preference to establish independent makers reluctant to send films to London ble The Longest Most Meaningless Movie JULY 1968 Film-Makers’ Co-op, Artists’ Information (Gallery House, 1972)
base despite friendly competition of the 2 because of Matusow’s involvement in the World, an endless film entirely con- Peter Gidal (having arrived from New Register, Time Out, Release, Cybernetic Second International Avant-Garde Film
bookstores – Open Screenings start to structed by the progressive inclusion of York the previous month) attends screen- Theatre, Portable Theatre, Edinburgh Festival (NFT/ICA, 1973)
FILM CO-OP WORKSHOP outnumber pre-selected programmes at NOVEMBER 1966-JANUARY 1967 footage found around Soho production ing at Arts Lab and brings along two of Combination and the Arts Council – First Festival of Independent British Cinema
Better Books Co-op holds 11 Open Screenings and houses his own films – Room (Double Take) organisations share information and dis- (ICW/Arnolfini, 1975)
NEW ARTS LAB ETC. many other programmes at Better Books scheduled to be shown in 2 week’s time, cuss collaboration – Tony Rayns and Festival of Expanded Cinema (ICA, 1976)
SUMMER 1966 OCTOBER 1967 when Curtis, Hartog, Le Grice, Dwoskin, Roger Hammond meet with Co-op for Arte Inglese Oggi: 1960-76 (British Council,
DEAR ALL, CHRISTMAS 1966 Opposition to Jonas Mekas who proposes Fred Drummond see and are impressed first time
David Curtis graduates from the Slade Milan, 1976)
PLEASE EXCUSE THE LAST WET
COMMUNICATION FROM HERE AND
summer ’66 and travels to New York to Hoppy opens UFO club on Tottenham that he, Stan Brakhage, Ken Kelman, P. with Gidal’s work – 8mm films by Derby Independent Film Awards (Derby
see films – on his return he frequents Court Road and David Curtis begins film Adams Sitney (a group that would later Goldsmith’s sculpture student Mike MAY 1969 Playhouse, 1976)
DIG OUT ALL THE ENTHUSIASM YOU
ONCE HAD( HOPING IT HASNT BEEN Better Books and helps with film shows – screenings, which first augment light form Anthology Film Archives’ contro- Dunford are also well received – many Last issue of Cinim (edited by Simon Perspectives on British Avant-Garde Film
TOTALLY DISIPITATED BY RECENT a week of Open Screenings at the London shows on Friday nights, in between live versial “Essential Cinema” committee) new film-makers begin to emerge without Hartog, produced by Steve Dwoskin, (Hayward Gallery, 1977)
NON-HAPPENINGS) Free School is presented as part of the performances by psychedelic rock groups will select New American Cinema films any substantial knowledge of previous published by the Coop) A Perspective on English Avant-Garde Film
WE NEED YOU YOURMEMBERSHIP Notting Hill Fayre – Steve Dwoskin, on a for European distribution – Jonas plans to avant-gardes – aesthetic and conceptual (Arts Council/British Council, 1978)
(YES AND THE BREAD YOU HAVNT PAID Fulbright Scholarship to London College arrive with films in September ’67 (he trends that later become specific to the Camden Council offers building at 1 New British Avant-Garde Films (Edinburgh
YET) YOUR ACTIVITY YOUR DISCU- of Printing, brings his early films with JANUARY 1967 didn’t) – Ray Durgnat briefly Co-op LFMC start to surface Robert Street for temporary use, rent-free Film Festival, 1978)
SIONS DICISIONS THOUGHTS QUES- him from New York – meeting with John LFMC Bulletin Number 2 notes that film chairman, Ron Geesin replaces Paul – IRAT (Institute for Research in Art & Film As Film: Formal Experimentation in
TIONS Latham leads to screening at the Fayre, supply for exhibition is ‘drying up’ – Co- Francis as joint secretary with Bob SUMMER 1968 Technology) is formed as an umbrella Film, 1910-1975 (Hayward Gallery, 1979)
seen by Cobbing – Co-op is by now Cobbing After his tour ends, Sitney returns to NY organisation to administrate different Film London (NFT/LFMC, 1979)
YOUR LEARNING AND YOUR op screenings become repetitive due to with all films from the NAC Exposition groups that will occupy the space – Joe
established as a group though not offi- Unpacking 7 Films (Arts Council, 1980)
TEACHING YOUR PRESENCE cially formed the lack of available filmsDerek Hill starts New Cinema Club and tour –– David Curtis meets Carla Liss, Tilson and J.G. Ballard on advisory board The Other Side: European Avant-Garde
shows films initially at Mermaid Theatre American artist and friend of Mekas who – LFMC members spend the summer ren- Cinema 1960-1980 (American Federation of
I HAVE YOUR NAME BECAUSE YOU SEPTEMBER 1966 and ICA – Vaughan-Rogosin Films start will become central to Co-op organisa- ovating the space, which include many Arts, 1983)
WERE ONCE INTERESTED IN THE FILM Destruction In Art Symposium (DIAS) at FEBRUARY 1967 to buy American experimental work for tional structure – First LFMC distribution different artistic groups and encourage Light Years: A Twenty Year Celebration
CO-OP. IF YOUR NO LONGER INTEREST- venues throughout London includes Matusow complains to Mekas that the UK distribution, including Anger, catalogue published (loose metal binding, cross-disciplinary work – cinema (David (LFMC, 1986)
ED SILENCE ( BYE-BYE) IF YOU ARE
STILL INTERESTED GET IN TOUCH Brakhage, Kuchar and Warhol assembled by Liss and Curtis, cover by Curtis), LFMC (Carla Liss & Malcolm Live In Your Head (Whitechapel, 2000)
WITH ME( GARETH COOK) HELP ME Dwoskin) – list approximately 100 films Le Grice), video (TVX / John Hopkins & Film-Makers On Tour (Arts Council, 1977,
MAKE THE WORKSHOP YOUR WORK- NOVEMBER 1967 plus addendum of experimental films dis- Til Roemer), theatre (Roland Miller, later 1980)
SHOP THATS WHY IM HERE Bob Cobbing and John Collins announce tributed by Vaughan-Rogosin – no doubt Victoria Miller & Martin Russell) mime Independent Cinema One: Directory of
plans for new bookshop and arts centre because of present state of flux, no Co-op (Will Spoor), music (Hugh Davies), pho- Independent British Cinema (1978)
ACTUALITY,S TESTS ARE BEING called “Boooooks” at 80 Long Acre – to address or personnel names are printed – tography (Ian Robertson), gallery (Biddy National Film Theatre calendars and pro-
RUN ON BOTH THE PRINTER AND THE include a cinema plus sound facilities and Sitney had advocated integration of the 2 Peppin & Pamela Zoline, later Judith gramme notes (1960-1980)
PROCESSOR TO DETERMINE THE BEST editing equipment (they call it an active groups and there are soon propos- Clute), printing (John Collins) electronics Progressive Art Productions catalogue (1969)
EXPOSURE/DEV.SPEED FOR PRINT “Eventure Room”) – and write to als towards uniting Arts Lab and Co-op (David Jeffrey) metal and plastics Light Cone distribution catalogue (1987)
MATERIAL American Cinema filmmakers asking for factions: Arts Lab group: Curtis, Le (Martin Shann, later Bernard Rhodes) London Film-Makers’ Co-operative distribu-
WE NEED ACURATELY EXPOSED prints Grice, Bennett Yahya, Cordley Coit / Co- and cybernetics (John & Dianne Lifton) – tion catalogue (1968, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1978,
NON VITAL CAMERA STOCK TO RUN op group: Dwoskin, Hartog, Cobbing, renovations to the building are completed 1993)
SIMILAR TESTS ON TO DETERMINE
22 NOVEMBER 1967 Collins by September
BEST DEV.SPEED FOR ORIGINAL CAM-
List of films in distribution includes 60 PERIODICALS
ERA WORK I ANTICIPATE THIS WILL BE
COMPLETED FIRST IT WOULD DEPEND titles, few of which are home-grown AUGUST 1968 Dwoskin and Hartog leave the Co-op Cinim, Platinum, Afterimage, Independent
WHO WANTED WHAT FIRST AND WHO Scotty’s Longest Most Meaningless organisation – Dwoskin will later remove Cinema, Cinemantics, Cinema Rising,
CAME AND DID IT DECEMBER 1967 Movie in the World is over 5hrs of 35mm his LFMC-distributed films to The Other Readings, Screen, Undercut, Filmwaves, Films
Knokke-le-Zoute “Exprmntl 4” festival material by the time it is premiered at Cinema and Filming, Sight and Sound, Art & Artists,
SO FAR YOU ARE JUST NAMES ON A and competition in Belgium proves a Arts Lab … 10 hours long by 1970 … Studio International, Time Out, International
LIST TO ME ( BAR4OR5) I AM “IN RESI- watershed, whose influence leads to the could still be growing for all we know 25 AUGUST – 13 SEPTEMBER 1969 Times
DENCE” –
LFMC establishing itself on an interna- Edinburgh Film Festival invites Co-op to
SEPTEMBER 1968 present an extended series programmes –
TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY tional level – 20 British films submitted,
Curtis writes the report “Subsidies to includes world premiere of David MISSING IN ACTION
FRIDAY 12.30-6.00&& though only 5 shown in competition – Independent Filmmakers: The present sit- Larcher’s Mare’s Tail, as well as new
ALSO EITHER SATURDAY OR SUN- Steve Dwoskin wins the Solvay Prize, uation and how it might be improved”, work by Le Grice, Drummond, Dunford,
DAY 12.30-6.00 GIVE ME A RING AND and his films Chinese Checkers and which calls for new funding structures – Gidal and others – programmes also fea-
ANTHONY ‘SCOTTY’ SCOTT
SAY WHEN
Soliloquy are chosen by P. Adams Sitney Curtis & Le Grice are in favour of work- ture many NAC films, Newsreels and the Over the lengthy period of research, only
YOULL BE HERE AND ILL ARRANGE a few films or filmmakers have managed
TO BE HERE OUTSIDE THOSE TIMES for his New American Cinema tour – ing with the BFI to secure funding, while Italian Co-op – expanded performances
Wavelength (Michael Snow) wins first Dwoskin and Hartog strongly resist the by Glasgow’s Exit Group, Le Grice, Fred to escape our investigations. One person
IF YOU HAVE CAMERA STOCK TO prize as Sitney begins to consider his piv- idea Drummond and Scotty’s Swiz Events that has remained elusive to all lines of
DEVELOP BRING IT IN otal definition of ‘Structural Film’ – enquiry was Anthony ‘Scotty’ Scott,
IF YOU HAVE DEVELOPED STOCK TO 11 SEPTEMBER 1968 20 SEPTEMBER 1969 maker of The Longest, Most Meaningless
David Curtis regards the festival as a sig-
PRINT BRING IT IN First LFMC screening of 1968 at the Arts Gimpel Fils Gallery begins a short lived Movie in the World, (which is also ‘miss-
nificant moment for London film-makers, Lab– Mike Dunford and Fred Drummond attempt to represent filmmakers and sell
though Dwoskin and Cobbing play it show new work ing’, despite the fact that it must be at
BUT BRING YOURSELF IDEARS prints as art editions, in association with
down, crystallising differences between least several weeks long by now). If any-
EFFORTS PAP and Edition Claude Givaudan –
Dwoskin’s subjective view and Curtis’ 19 SEPTEMBER 1968 Peter Gidal is only LFMC filmmaker to one knows where Scotty might be, or if
LOVE GARETH (and other’s) increasing attention to Michael Snow and Joyce Wieland at the participate – screening of selected works he should come to light during the course
(HOME) 731-0931IRAT RECEP.387-2605
process ICA, a visit that helps to perpetuate a at ICA also features films by Robert of this exhibition, please point him in our
IF THEY CANT/WONT FIND ME general shift on part of LFMC practition- Beavers, Stan Brakhage, Wilhelm & direction!
LEAVE A MESSAGE AND ’PHONE NO. 1968
Following Knokke, Curtis starts to screen ers toward formalist work, although Birgit Hein, Kurt Kren, Gregory email scotty@lfmc.org
SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT 7
1970 document underground cinema activity in DECEMBER 1972 JANUARY-APRIL 1974 SEPTEMBER 1975 First conference of the Independent Marc Karlin from UK, among many oth-
Le Grice starts to make colour-field films Britain and later withdraw offer before he Le Grice begins to regularly contributeBarbara Meter and Peter Gidal collabo- Le Grice and Gidal begin to withdraw Filmmakers’ Association (IFA), organ- ers, take part in debates – Le Grice and
on Coop workshop equipment, beginning is able to decline – BFI appoints Mamoun film column “Vision” to Studio rate to establish a Dutch touring circuit from organisational activities (though ised by Simon Hartog, Claire Johnston McCall also present expanded cinema
with Love Story – his first expanded per- Hassan as Production Department International (which continues until for Co-op filmmakers – Mike Dunford & they stay on the Co-op committee), after and Paul Willemen work at the Scottish Arts Council Gallery
formance with this material is Horror Supervisor (following Bruce Beresford’s 1977) Sally Potter, David Dye, Gill Eatherley, mutually deciding to step aside to allow
Film 1 (1971) resignation), which marks a shift to fund- Tony Hill, Le Grice, Annabel Nicolson new leaders to direct Co-op initiatives MAY-JUNE 1976 SEPTEMBER 1976
ing longer (feature) film production 1973 and William Raban each present shows in Peter Gidal presents “Structural Films” Guy Sherwin writes another application
Rodney Wilson becomes Film Officer at Peter Gidal commences teaching at the Amsterdam, Groningen and Utrecht NOVEMBER 1975 season at NFT – 18 screenings of interna- to BFI for catalogue and relocation costs
Arts Council and implements funding for AUGUST 1971 Royal College of Arts – Anne Rees-Mogg LFMC opens at the Piano Factory – tional work, with almost half devoted to – William Raban resigns from Co-op
artists’ films Second LFMC distribution catalogue establishes a film course at Chelsea MAY 1974 Space Studios again occupy part of the Co-op members – Structural Film workshop to teach at St. Martin’s School
(A5, black with pink lettering) features School of Art Malcolm Le Grice takes Co-op films to building – Co-op uses BFI grant pay first Anthology (edited by Peter Gidal) is pub- of Art – Steve Farrer takes over the vacant
around 400 films, by over 160 filmmak- screen at Millennium Film Workshop in salaries since Carla Liss left in ’71 – pro- lished by BFI and includes revised ver- position – Annabel Nicolson has a second
ers – distribution is still being managed Camden ’73 Festival includes “Festival New York and Carnegie Institute in jectors that had been used since IRAT in sion of Gidal’s “Theory and Definition of period of running the Co-op cinema
by Carla Liss and Barbara Schwartz dur- of British Films – London Film-Makers’ Pittsburgh ’69 are replaced – second hand optical Structural/Materialist Film”, excerpt of
ing the transition period Co-op Mixed Show” at The Place Le Grice’s forthcoming book Abstract SEPTEMBER 1976
Film and Beyond, and new or reprinted LFMC begins to negotiates lease on
SEPTEMBER 1971 EARLY 1973 articles by and about filmmakers in the space above a laundry at 42 Gloucester
Official opening of the Co-op at the Dairy Le Grice invited to join the BFI programme Avenue, which is owned by British Rail
– Peter Gidal (completing his postgradu- Production Board (FIPB) to advise on
ate degree at the Royal College of Art) funding – Le Grice and Colin Young pre- JUNE-JULY 1976 OCTOBER 1975
becomes responsible Dairy cinema pro- pare a report on state of independent Berlin Film Festival includes new work Co-op again runs out of money – BFI
grammes with support of Roger filmmaking in Britain – Screen invite Le by Dwoskin, Le Grice and Raban agrees to pay basic running costs to end
Hammond – David Crosswaite is main Grice to commission and edit articles on of year
projectionist – discussion becomes an experimental film for a future issue, but AUGUST 1976
increasingly important part of screenings all are later rejected as they abandoned Co-op runs out of distribution catalogues, 10 OCTOBER-11 NOVEMBER 1976
(which may have led to a greater empha- the planned special issue so Deke Dusinberre asks BFI for grant to “LFMC First 10 Years” screening series
sis on literary discourse) – under Gidal, print new edition, but 2 applications are and party are organised by Deke
the cinema holds weekly screenings and FEBRUARY 1973 rejected (next catalogue is not published Dusinberre, with assistance from David
almost half of the slots are devoted to David Curtis joins the Arts Council Film until early 1978) Curtis – 4 mixed programmes of work
English-made films – through 1971-72, & Video sub-committee (later appointed illustrate the diversity of work made in
Malcolm Le Grice there is an increasing emphasis on new Assistant Film Officer in 1977) Co-op executive committee at this time and around the Co-op during its first
LFMC work – Co-op survives this period consists of Paul Botham, Mike Dunford, decade
JANUARY 1970 without any funding, all work is done by 16-18 MARCH 1973 Peter Gidal, Malcolm Le Grice, Anne
At IRAT, 5 days of open live-action and volunteers and cinema / distribution 3 days of Filmaktion events at Gallery Rees-Mogg, Chris Welsby NOVEMBER 1976
multi-screen events are held, mostly led income covers overheads – no heating House (core group plus David Deke Dusinberre takes over cinema pro-
by Annabel Nicolson, and include Le and no seating, audience sits on old mat- Crosswaite) inc. first performances of Afterimage No. 6 special issue gramming, Sherwin continues to run
Grice, Mike Dunford and Sally Potter – tresses on cinema floor Matrix & Gross Fog (Le Grice), Chair “Perspectives on English Independent workshop (with Steve Farrer) and
this inaugurates a period of intense devel- Installation (Eatherley) and 2’45” & Cinema” published by Simon Field – becomes acting Executive Representative
opment of expanded work by the core Carla Liss leaves, thereby severing the Diagonal (Raban) – Filmaktion formed includes articles by or about Cinema – Co-op receives funds towards imminent
LFMC group, quite unique from other last tie to the initial Co-op group and to as loose collective primarily consisting of Intermission at McCall/Schneemann Co-op screening, 12 June 1974 Action, Noel Burch, Mike Dunford, Deke relocation from Greater London Council
Photo by Alan Power
international examples Jonas Mekas and New York – Gidal Eatherley, Le Grice, Nicolson and Raban Dusinberre, Steve Dwoskin (by Paul and Gulbenkian Foundation
immediately insists that 50% of all future who develop expanded work for group printer and twin system projector for dub- Willemen), Jeff Keen (by Tony Rayns),
Issue one of Cinemantics (published by group bookings from the LFMC must be shows JUNE 1974 bing magnetic soundtracks installed – on Gidal’s Theory (Anne Cottringer), After a prolonged period of fundraising
John Mathews) English films, a policy that leads to a Anthony McCall presents Fire Piece at many film prints made at this time use Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen and renovation, the Other Cinema finally
greater international presence for Co-op 11 MAY 1973 Oxford MoMA this equipment (which accounts for the open their own theatre on Tottenham
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1970 works – prior to this, majority of 2 programmes of Co-op films shown at number of magnetic sound prints still in 6-9 AUGUST 1976 Street (it closed after a year, later reopen-
Larry Kardish (from New York Museum European and domestic bookings had NFT, includes Botham, Crosswaite, Peter Gidal stops programming Co-op distribution) Deke Dusinberre organises the “Derby ing as the Scala)
of Modern Art) tours Britain for 2 weeks consisted of New American Cinema films Drummond, Du Cane, Hammond, cinema – Annabel Nicolson takes over Independent Film Awards” at Derby
with 3 1/2 hours of films from US and – Lynne Tilman manages distribution for Nicolson, Potter and Raban (assisted by Tony Hill) and temporarily Cinema attendance rises during first few Playhouse – an attempt to stimulate film- DECEMBER 1976
Canada a short time closes the space to widen it in order to months and 1975-76 season is very suc- making outside London – Fuji supplies Mary Pat Leece leaves distribution and is
5-7 JUNE 1973 better accommodate the expanded works cessful – Lis Rhodes is cinema organiser, film stock which is awarded to everyone succeeded by Felicity Sparrow –
APRIL 1970 New Co-op committee consists of 3 programmes at the Tate Gallery under she intends to present – Gidal also stops with help from Annabel Nicolson (per- included in programmes – work shown Malcolm Le Grice and others initite
J.G. Ballard exhibits crashed cars in the Malcolm Le Grice (chairman, workshop the title “Film as Structure” organised by writing for Time Out and is replaced by formances) and David Curtis (historical displays a wide range of artists, inde- moves to turn Co-op into a charitable
IRAT gallery organiser), Peter Gidal (treasurer, cinema Mick Hartney – 1st screening inc. Tony Rayns – Marjory Botham moves programmes) – Anne Rees-Mogg organ- pendent and political filmmaking trust, and investigate possibility of
organiser), Mike Dunford (secretary) Frampton, Kubelka, Sharits, Snow, other into Nicolson’s former position manag- ises open screenings on alternate beecoming a incorporated company
MAY 1970 2 nights are one-man shows presented by ing distribution Thursdays – William Raban and Guy 30 AUGUST-3 SEPTEMBER 1976
3 week season of late night underground OCTOBER 1971 Gidal and Le Grice Sherwin run the workshop for the first Edinburgh Film Festival presents
films at Roundhouse includes premiere of Opening of Co-op workshop at the Dairy, AUGUST 1974 year, and number of members also rises “International Forum on the Avant-
John Chamberlain’s 7-screen film Wide which is run by Le Grice and his former 20-27 JUNE 1973 7 programme retrospective of Steve rapidly – workshop membership fee is Garde” organised by Simon Field and
Chronology assembled by Mark Webber, edited
Point, produced by Alan Power (who also students – first film produced there is Walker Art Gallery “Filmaktion” shows Dwoskin at NFT raised from £1 to £5 (first increase since Peter Wollen – a week of screenings, by Travis Miles. With respect to Peter Mudie
funded films by Dwoskin and Larcher) Mike Leggett’s Shepherd’s Bush – during organised by William Raban and Anthea the move to the Dairy in ’71) – Mary Pat expanded cinema and discussions – (on whose manuscript this document was orig-
this period widespread use of cheap Hinds include Botham, Crosswaite, AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 1974 Leece takes over distribution, assisted by Regina Cornwell, Hollis Frampton, inally based) and David Curtis (who made a
JUNE 1970 German Orwo stock (much of it stolen Dunford, Eatherley, Hammond, Le Grice, 24 Frames presents “The New Avant- Deke Dusinberre Annette Michelson, Yvonne Rainer, Paul wealth of archival material available for
Mike Leggett and Ian Breakwell present from the BBC) accounts for mid-grey Nicolson, Pound and Raban – a week of Garde” series of 18 programmes at the Sharits, Michael Snow and Joyce research).
expanded shows at IRAT inc. Sheet and cast on many of the films screenings, expanded cinema and chil- NFT – showcases films they distribute Special issue of Studio International Wieland from USA, Chantal Akerman, If this article contains errors or omissions that
Unword dren’s workshops – Raban shoots a time- and consists almost exclusively of devoted to “Avant-Garde Film in England Raymond Bellour and Birgit Hein from you can help us correct for the future expanded
1972 lapse film of the event American work (John Du Cane is one of & Europe” – includes Peter Wollen’s Europe and Ian Christie, Peter Gidal, edition please email book@lfmc.org
SUMMER 1970 John Du Cane and Peter Gidal write reg- few English filmmakers they represent) – polemical article “The Two Avant-
BFI tries to negotiate a take-over of Co- ularly for Time Out over next 3 years – at the present time they carry approx. 350 Gardes” and “Theory and Definition of
op distribution their promotion of Co-op and related film and 50 videotapes – 24 Frames is a Structural/Materialist Film” by Peter
screenings at the NFT increase atten- commercial distributor directed particu- Gidal – plus articles on or by David
SEPTEMBER 1970 dance and awareness of activities larly towards TV sales Curtis, Deke Dusinberre on Expanding
Curtis, Field and Albie Thoms organise Cinema, David Dye, Ron Haselden,
“1st International Underground Film Gabrielle Stubbs and Annabel Nicolson 9 NOVEMBER 1974 Malcolm Le Grice on Kurt Kren, and
Festival”, a week of screenings at manage distribution from 1972-74 – First meeting of the Independent international reports by Birgit Hein,
National Film Theatre which attracts a institutional rentals increase as avant- Filmmakers’ Association at the RCA, Barbara Meter and Peter Weibel
large number of international filmmakers garde film stops being ‘underground’ and whose intent is to lobby to promote inde-
inc. Kurt Kren, Peter Kubelka, Paul becomes more accepted as an art form pendent film and video makers and 1976
Sharits, Jonas Mekas, Wener Nekes, encourage exchanges between theorists Jonathan Harvey, director of Acme (an
Tonino de Bernardi – programmes run 21 JANUARY 1972 and practitioners – organising committee organisation which provides artists with
from 10:30am to past midnight – Time Out publishes a long article on the includes Dwoskin, Gidal, Hartog, Nick access to abandoned houses on short-
exhausting and liberal survey of the inter- Co-op written by Irving Washington, Hart-Williams, Marc Karlin, Le Grice, term leases), opens the Acme Gallery in
national scene, approx 330 films in 100 comprising a history of the organisation Laura Mulvey and James Scott – initiated Covent Garden – Marilyn Halford works
hours – Oh Sensibility performance by and description of the current situation in response to a BBC TV programme by there part time and helps organise film
Otto Muehl was banned following public Melvyn Bragg which misrepresents con- events including shows by Lis Rhodes &
outcry because of plans to slaughter a MAY-JUNE 1972 temporary independent filmmaking prac- Ian Kerr, William Raban and Chris
chicken on the NFT stage – expanded Hamburg Filmschau includes 2 pro- tise in the UK Welsby
grammes of LFMC work
25 DECEMBER 1974- 4-11 JANUARY 1976
2 JUNE 1972 & 7 JULY 1972 4 JANUARY 1975 “Festival of Expanded Cinema” at ICA
“English Independent Cinema” at NFT, 4 “Exprmntl 5” festival at Knokke-Heist – organised by Deke Dusinberre and Simon
programmes organised by Gidal includes performance and multi-projection work is Field features 43 artists, both established
work by 17 filmmakers, inc. Crosswaite, excluded from competition so Malcolm and new filmmakers – includes works by
Dwoskin, Hammond, Schwartz and JULY 1973 Le Grice and several others refuse partic- Steve Farrer, Chris Garratt, Tony Hill,
Schneemann, with two screen films by The Arts Council’s “Committee of ipation – video is included for the first Derek Jarman, Anthony McCall, Annabel
Botham, Drummond, Raban & Welsby Enquiry into Films” (aka The time – Still Life With Pear (Mike Nicolson, William Raban, Lis Rhodes &
Attenborough Report), begun in 1971, is Dunford), Line Describing a Cone Ian Kerr, Guy Sherwin, Tony Sinden and
15 JULY 1972 finally published – leads to establishing (Anthony McCall) win awards, William many others – new filmmakers starting to
River Yar (Raban and Welsby) shown at the Art Film Division at the Arts Council Raban and Marilyn Halford also in com- come through include Robert Fearns,
Co-op – a group of new and younger and causes disruption at BFI – Mamoun petition – Sign (John Du Cane) is not Rob Gawthrop and Roger Hewins
film-makers begin to work with and Hassan resigns, replaced by Peter selected though P. Adams Sitney protests
through the LFMC including David Sainsbury, who initiates a shift to funding for its inclusion 14 JANUARY 1976
Parsons, Chris Welsby (Chelsea School of experimental film – Arts Council Premiere of David Larcher’s Monkey’s
of Art students) and Tim Bruce, Steve Artists’ Film and Video Sub-Committee 11-18 FEBRUARY 1975 Birthday at the Co-op – shot over several
Farrer, Ian Kerr, Lis Rhodes, John Smith provides the main source of funding for “First Festival of Independent British years around the world, the film makes
(North East London Polytechnic students Co-op filmmakers’ who seek production Cinema” at the Arnolfini Gallery in extensive use of LFMC workshop equip-
of Guy Sherwin) grants during the mid 1970s Bristol is organised by ICW (Independent ment
Cinema West), led by David Hopkins –
27 AUGUST 1972 3-16 SEPTEMBER 1973 many Co-op, political and independents 10-11 FEBRUARY 1976
events by Weibel & Export, Schneemann Anthony McCall presents Death Watch “Second Festival of Independent Avant- filmmakers and students travel from all Weekend seminar in response to Wollen’s
and Jeff Keen (whose show was invaded Beetle, a fire event at North Weald Garde Film” organised by Simon Field over the UK to attend – week of events “Two Avant-Gardes” article is organised
by ‘Crazy Otto’ because it wasn’t Airfield and David Curtis at NFT (films) and ICA include screenings, workshops, discus- at the Co-op by Deke Dusinberre – Le
provocative enough) – Afterimage No. 2 (expanded cinema) – Kurt Kren, Michael sions and expanded work Grice delivers a paper on relationship
published by Simon Field and Peter LATE 1972 Snow, Joyce Wieland, Jonas Mekas, Ken between theory and practice in his films,
Sainsbury to coincide with festival, Supplement to LFMC distribution cata- Jacobs, Barry Gerson, Taka Iimura, Peter 3-21 MARCH 1975 while Gidal and Wollen expand on their
devoted to articles on avant-garde film logue No. 2 is published (A5, black Kubelka, Valie Export, Peter Weibel and “Avant-Garde British Landscape Films” Studio International articles – Tony
cover, silver lettering) – lists approx 170 others attend from abroad – 105 filmmak- organised by Deke Dusinberre at Tate Rayns chairs the discussion
DECEMBER 1970 additional films that have been acquired ers represented in programmes that run Gallery, consists of 3 repeating daily pro-
Co-op decides to move out of Robert over past year, majority having been pro- from morning to early morning – grammes plus special evening events pre- FEBRUARY-MARCH 1976
Street and find its own location, in antic- duced by British filmmakers Filmaktion group present their last 4 sented by William Raban, Chris Welsby, “Arte Inglese Oggi” survey of British
ipation of the impending IRAT closure shows as part of the ICA programme – and Renny Croft – films by Jane Clark, artists organised by British Council at
2-15 OCTOBER 1972 Piero Heliczer runs a week long fringe Mike Duckworth and David Pearce also Palazzo Reale, Milan – Richard Cork
JANUARY 1971 “Survey of the Avant-Garde in Britain” festival in the Co-op cinema – Austrian shown invites David Curtis to advise on film
Camden Council offers the abandoned curated by Rosetta Brooks at Gallery TV station ORF make a documentary of programme which includes Dunford,
Dairy at 13a Prince of Wales Crescent House, 50 Princes Gate – third part of the the festival MARCH 1975 Dye, Gidal, Haselden, Keen, McCall,
(building is partly occupied by Space exhibiton features film, video, installa- Camden Council give 6 months notice to Nicolson, Raban, Rhodes, Sherwin and
subsidised artists’ studios) – Co-op is tion and performance – work by many OCTOBER 1973 Co-op – announcing intention to reclaim Welsby – several of these go to Italy to
given the entire first floor for a cinema, Co-op filmmakers inc. Du Cane, Tony Rayns’ long review of the 2nd the Dairy building for a housing project present expanded events
workshop and distribution facilities, its Dwoskin, Gidal, Leggett, McCall, Raban Avant-Garde Festival in Sight & Sound
first dedicated base in its 4-year history – and others but not Crosswaite, Hammond prompts Le Grice to write a letter under APRIL 1975 MARCH 1976
many new members becoming involved and Le Grice – Gallery House is a tem- then pseudonym Mary Lou Grace, ironi- Co-op apply for a grants from BFI Group Co-op makes new application to the
with Co-op at this time are Le Grice’s porary alternative exhibition space man- cally praising the magazine for finally Support Fund and Gulbenkian restructured BFI for running costs but by
former St. Martin’s students – Paul aged by Rosetta Brooks and Sigi Krauss getting around to acknowledging ‘real’ Foundation for workshop funding –BFI receives no subsidy at all for a 4 month
Botham, David Crosswaite, John Du between Spring 1972 and Summer 1973 film application is turned down but Peter period – BFI eventually makes interim
Cane, Gill Eatherley, Roger Hammond, Sainsbury offers to help them re-apply payment to cover period until lease on
Stuart Pound and William Raban join NOVEMBER 1972 John Du Cane publishes only issue of Fitzroy Road expires – lease is subse-
over the next year – considerable renova- Annabel Nicolson travels to New York, Light One, dedicated to the work of MAY 1975 quently extended to December ’76 (Co-
tions needed at the Dairy take 9 months, Buffalo, Toronto, Vancouver and Michael Snow Le Grice presents programme of LFMC op eventually moves to Gloucester
shared labour adds to developing collec- Montreal with several recent works by films at the Oberhausen International Avenue in Autumn 1977)
tive ideology Co-op members – her memoir of the trip DECEMBER 1973 Short Film Festival
appears as “Canadian Fragments” in Art Le Grice presents LFMC films in MARCH-APRIL 1976
“American Underground Film Festival” & Artists, April 1973 Stockholm and other Swedish cities Arts Council “Video Art” show at Le Grice tours USA and Canada as first
at NFT organised by Ken Wlashin and Serpentine Gallery includes Ian filmmaker to use British Council’s
James Lithgow – 7 programmes of most- DECEMBER 1972 LATE 1973 Breakwell, Mike Dunford, David Hall, “Touring Abroad” scheme which pays
ly narrative experimental film Special “Artists’ Films” issue of Art & Deke Dusinberre arrives in London – a Mike Leggett, Will Milne, Lis Rhodes international travel for artists’ – Gidal,
Artists demonstrates increasing attention former student of P. Adams Sitney and and Tony Sinden – at this time, many Leggett, Raban and Welsby also travel to
26 MARCH 1971 to film from the fine arts sector – cover is Annette Michelson, he intends to write visual artists were turning to video USA in ’76 – Peter Gidal begins his pres-
IRAT closed as the building is finally Horror Film 2 by Le Grice – contains his Master of Philosophy thesis on entation at Museum of Modern Art in
reclaimed by Camden Council – Curtis articles by or about, David Dye, Simon Structural Film at the University of JUNE 1975
New York with the statement “I hate
withdraws from Co-op organisation Field, Peter Gidal, Malcolm Le Grice and London but changes his focus to the Peter Sainsbury meets with Co-op execu-
everything about America, and every-
Annabel Nicolson LFMC and English avant-garde – after tive committee to discuss application –
thing that America stands for.”
APRIL-AUGUST 1971 completing his thesis at the Slade, suggests restructuring Co-op by employ-
Curtis and Field present 3 seasons titled 6 DECEMBER 1972 Dusinberre becomes very involved in Co- ing paid workers – amount of original SPRING 1976
“Developments of the New Cinema” at Inspired by Art & Artists feature, William op organisation in 1976 request doubled and re-submitted
David Hall proposes the formation of
NFT – 22 screenings of mostly interna- Raban sends an open letter to British 8 JULY 1975 London Video Arts (later to become
tional work includes Dwoskin / Gidal institutions and arts centres to attract 1974 Meeting at Camden Town Hall organised London Electronic Arts) as an organisa-
programme and special evening of 2 Police raids on Co-op building and by Malcolm Le Grice includes represen-
bookings, which leads to two more events
shows devoted to “Double Projection William Raban’s home under the tatives from LFMC, Camden Council, tion run by and for video artists and the
Films from English Filmmakers", which at Gallery House and a Filmaktion week Prevention of Terrorism Act, apparently Greater London Arts Association, distribution and exhibition of their work –
were printed and processed at the Co-op at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (June looking for evidence of political activism Gulbenkian Foundation, Space Studios other founder members include David
’73) – thus begins a period which sees the and links to the I.R.A. and BFI – Camden Council suggest tem- Critchley, Tamara Krikorian, Stuart
Co-op reaching out beyond their own porary 12 month relocation to former
MAY 1971 Piano Factory at 44a Fitzroy Road and Marshall, Steve Partridge.
“British Cinema 4: Independent Movie facility New LFMC distribution catalogue (A5, Co-op accept the offer later that month –
Makers” at NFT includes a programme of
blue cover, white lettering) lists over 500 building again needs considerable reno- MAY 1976
films by Gidal and Mare’s Tail by 21-30 DECEMBER 1972 vation before it can be occupied Le Grice lectures on “Materiality in
Larcher “A Small Festival of Events and Films” at films and for the first time includes sepa- avant-garde film” at State University of
JUNE 1971 Gallery House including expanded work rate listings for expanded cinema per- AUGUST 1975
New York, Buffalo, at invitation of Hollis
BFI offer Curtis £75 for 3 weeks work to from Le Grice, McCall and Schneemann BFI award Co-op first significant grant
formances Frampton and Paul Sharits
towards running costs
8 SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT
LOCATING THE LFMC LONDON FILM-MAKERS’ BRITISH ARTISTS’ FILM & VIDEO
CO-OPERATIVE STUDY COLLECTION AT
CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS
THE FIRST DECADE IN CONTEXT CONSTITUTION, 1976 COLLEGE OF
ART AND DESIGN
I. Principles
A.L. REES A. The London Film-Makers’ Co- This new resource for scholars and curators is
operative (hereafter referred to as the Co-op) is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research
Before the London Filmmaker’s Co-oper- a voluntary organisation of film-makers dedi-
Board, and is part of the Centre for British
ative was founded, only a few inspired cated to the production, distribution, and
Film and Television Studies, directed by
individuals such as Margaret Tait, John screening of independent, non-commercial
Professor Laura Mulvey of Birkbeck. The col-
Latham and Jeff Keen made experimental films. The Co-op encourages the growth of a
16mm films in the UK during the early dynamic independent film culture in Great lection has two forms; a physical collection of
1960s. Filmmaking was costly and time- Britain. The Co-op is a non-profit organisation; tapes, still images and paper documentation,
consuming, and had little status as a seri- any surplus income shall be reinvested in Co- and an on-line database giving details of over
ous art form. With limited technical op activities and shall not be distributed among 4,000 works by British artists1920-2000.
means, these artists created their own its members.
kinds of lyric cinema, hand-painting the The collection at Central St Martins holds over
film as well as shooting live action. Their II. Membership 600 VHS tapes – containing over 1,500 indi-
films were sadly little known at the time, A. Membership in the Co-op is open vidual works. These include the Arts Council
when even Anthony Balch’s films made to any interested individual upon receipt of a of England’s reference collection of work it
in collaboration with William Burroughs film for the library. Anyone becomes a member funded, exhibition compilations from the Film
had few outlets beyond the London art- of the Co-op and is entitled to use the Co-op’s
& Video Umbrella, the former LEA and other
house cinemas run by Balch himself. By production/workshop facilities subject to
organisations, off-air recordings and tapes
the mid 1960s, however, interest in approval by the Committee or its delegate (sec-
donated by individual artists. The paper docu-
underground film grew across the counter tion III), upon payment of £5 per annum.
culture. News of the US and European B. Cinema screenings are open to mentation includes over 500 artist files (writ-
avant-gardes filtered through the under- Co-op members and the public, upon payment ings by and about the artist) and collections of
ground press and the colour supplements, of a fee of £1 per annum. fliers and programme notes, film stills and
and film clubs began to show some of the C. General Meetings of the member- posters. The research team is: Professor
films themselves. ship shall be held at least twice per year; UK Malcolm Le Grice / David Curtis / Michael
members shall be given at least 14 days notice Mazière / Steven Ball.
The LFMC was begun by a small group of General Meetings by the Secretary.
of such enthusiasts who screened films at Extraordinary Meetings may be called by the The database of artists and works will be
an avant-garde book shop in Charing Committee on the basis of a request by 3 mem- online at www.pads.ahds.ac.uk from June
Cross Road in 1965-66. Shortly after- bers to the Committee. 25 members, or 30 of
2002. To book study time contact
wards, augmented by David Curtis’ pro- the London-based membership, constitutes a
d.curtis@csm.linst.ac.uk Further information
grammes of experimental film at the quorum for a General or Extraordinary
from the CSM site
Drury Lane Arts Lab, it attracted more Meeting.
filmmakers and began to live up to its D. The membership is responsible www.research.linst.ac.uk/filmcentre/
name. Stephen Dwoskin and Peter Gidal for Co-op policy and may amend articles in
British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection,
brought from New York an authentic sections II, III, IV by a 2/3 majority; with the
whiff of Andy Warhol’s Factory. Others, exception of membership fees, which may be Room 203, Central Saint Martins College of
like Malcolm Le Grice, used found altered by a simple majority. Art and Design, Southampton Row, London
footage and raw projection as an exten- E. The Co-op shall be dissolved only WC1B 4AP
sion of painting and sculpture. In 1968-69 by a 9/10 majority at an Extraordinary Meeting Tel +44 (0)20 7514 8159
the filmmakers were in control of the called for that purpose. Any assets at the time Fax +44 (0)20 7514 7071
LFMC and more films were being made. of dissolution shall be devoted to projects with
When it moved north to Robert Street, on goals similar to those of the Co-op (section I).
the fringe of Camden Town, in 1969, the At such meetings, only foreign members can LUX
LFMC was just one among a cluster of have a postal vote.
LUX is a new organisation formed to continue
radical arts groups housed by the New the work of its predecessors; The London
Arts Lab, but it was already developing III. Administration
Filmmakers Co-op, London Electronic
its own ethos as well as the facilities to A. Co-op policy and programmes
Arts/London Video Access and The Lux
shoot, process and edit films. shall be administered by a Committee account-
Centre.
able to the membership at General and
With the closure of the Arts Labs, the Extraordinary meetings. Based around a unique collection of artists’ film
LFMC split off on its own. It moved suc- B. The Committee shall be elected and video work LUX seeks to promote and sup-
cessively through a series of former annually from the membership; it shall consist port contemporary and historical artists’ mov-
industrial spaces: ‘the Dairy’, ‘the Piano Top: Filmaktion group at Gallery House, 1973. Bottom left: Postcard from David Curtis to Peter Gidal, 1968. Bottom right: Peter Gidal, 1967. of at least five members, including a ing image work as well as the artists that make
Factory’ and finally ‘the Laundry’, its Chairperson, a Treasurer, and a Secretary. it through distribution, exhibition, publishing
home in Gloucester Avenue for twenty General membership only can appoint and dis- and research.
years. In the crucial years of 1971-75, it combined to make a film or separated to “making films with projectors”. This was from the same art college and concept art (founded 1973) and the Film Work Group miss staff. For more details contact:
occupied austere studios in Prince of make an event. in the spirit of the Arts Labs, which host- background as the LFMC. After almost a (founded 1974). These and other factions C. The Committee shall oversee the LUX, 3rd Floor, 18 Shacklewell Lane,
Wales Crescent. Each location stamped ed the LFMC until 1971, and where all decade of process-led films, the image also met and tangled at the RCA Film daily operation of the production/workshop London E8 2EZ, UK
its shape on the films that were made There was no real equivalent to the psy- the art forms mingled promiscuously. was back. In some ways this extended the School, where Gidal and Dwoskin both facilities, the distribution library, and the tel: +44 (0)207 503 3980,
fax: +44 (0)7092 111413
there, from the meltdown of media in the chodrama at the LFMC. Psychodrama When film went off on its own it lost field of what Le Grice and Gidal had taught from 1973, along with theorists screening programme.
e m a i l : i n f o @ l u x . o r g . u k
‘expanded cinema’ of the two Arts Labs, was a literary model and by contrast the much of that interaction, even as it devel- called ‘structural-materialism’ in the Noel Burch and Jorge Dana. Different D. The Treasurer shall present an
web: www.lux.org.uk
to a more purist climate at Fitzroy Road. LFMC sprang directly from the visual oped a new independent ethos and pro- early 1970s. Gidal coined this distinctive versions of film semiotics, experimenta- audited statement of all Co-op accounts to a
En route, the LFMC effectively invented arts. The few exceptions are more playful duced, for the first time, a distinct group term for the direction taken by British tion and politics were hammered out. General meeting not less than once per year.
a new avant-garde genre, the British E. Minutes of all Committee meet- SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT
than traumatic, and include Bruce of LFMC filmmakers. filmmakers towards a politics of vision, Gidal’s citation of Brecht ‘against repre-
Structural / Materialist film. Its tough and Lacey’s ‘family’ films and the childlike or of film as a critique of optical sensa- sentation’ was countered by the Brechtian ings shall be available from the Co-op offices
Curator: Mark Webber
demanding screening programme often humour of the films and performances of This new direction appeared in 1973 as tion. But these two leading and gifted ‘alienation effect’ in the drama films of to any member upon request.
Lux: Benjamin Cook, Mike Sperlinger, Jam
featured the latest work, straight from the Jeff Keen. After the short, intense lyri- ‘Filmaktion’, but was seeded three years filmmakers were in some ways also Straub-Huillet. Both were critical of Tidy
workshop. cism of Alone and Moment, Stephen earlier by tutor Malcolm Le Grice at St pulling in different directions. Le Grice ‘visual pleasure’ in the conventional IV. Regulations
Dwoskin turned to extended portraits Martins School of Art, where his students eventually embraced Frampton’s ‘spectre sense, but where Gidal turned to frag- A. All members complying with sec- Project Management: Lucy Reynolds
DISTINGUISHED with a documentary touch. David included William Raban, Gill Eatherley, of narrative’, and his vision has always mentation and enigma, the political tion II A shall have access to the produc- Project Assistants: Travis Miles, Milena
Larcher’s films are documentary-diaries Annabel Nicolson and Marilyn Halford. been of the expansive sort. Gidal’s mod- groups adopted the long-take and spoken tion/workshop facilities as administered by the Michalski-Gow
LFMC films looked strikingly hand- Committee, or its delegate(s). Technical Consultant: David Leister
made. Many films of the early seventies or personal travelogues, loosely struc- Around these circulated others from the ernism was of the other kind: paring text to disengage the viewer from the film
tured and of long duration. Such tactics London art schools, such as John Du down and minimalizing the image, so that spectacle. B. Films in the Co-op library shall Projection: Chloë Stewart, Greg Pope
carry distinct traces of their own printing be made available for rental at rates deter- Website: Gregory Kurcewicz
and processing, as in the sparkly film sur- disrupt, even as they elicit, the spectator’s Cane, Chris Welsby, Jenny Okun and each frame resists the lure of unity and
identification with the lure of the screen Anne Rees-Mogg. The purist, if not puri- possession. His films are a running cri- VISUAL mined by the film-maker; all prints shall be Design: Rachel Reupke
face that mirrors the watery image of provided by the film-maker, who retains com-
Mike Dunford’s Silver Surfer. Annabel image. Peter Gidal, more extremely, tan, elements in the structural avant-garde tique of their own viewing conditions, Advisory Panel:
The more visual and celebratory side of plete ownership of the print. Films may be
Nicolson pulled the film through the rejected psychodrama along with all cin- were not their only feature, as time now and internalise their pictorial codes, just David Curtis, Senior Research Fellow, Central
the LFMC, including Le Grice’s lyrical withdrawn from the library at any time, subject
printer to make the colour tapestry of ema which denies its own illusionism. shows. Seen today, their strict forms also as his mentor Samuel Beckett made loops Saint Martin’s School of Art
colour films, eventually had an effect on to prior booking arrangements made through
Slides, while successive reprinting of the have more playful ingredients. The ‘room of words and speeches to sideline the Michael O’Pray, Reader in Film, University of
the commercial world, which most of its the Co-op.
film leader numerals in Guy Sherwin’s At PLASTIC films’ of the time are revealing and mov- power of language to refer. East London
members would have rejected had they C. Film-makers shall receive 70% of
The Academy creates the illusion of bas- The next generation (which included ing documents of typically spartan known of it. This was its impact, both all rental fees on each of their films; the Co-op
A.L. Rees, Senior Research Fellow, Royal
relief depth on the flat film surface. Le William Raban, Chris Welsby and domestic space. They include John Du In the art school tradition of the LFMC
direct and oblique, on TV advertising and shall retain 30% of rental fees to cover distri-
College of Art
Grice emerged as a master-printer whose Annabel Nicolson) came straight to film Cane’s Zoom Lapse, in which a window filmmakers, language as such was treated
rock videos, whose language of rapid cut- bution costs. Payments will be made to film-
Simon Field, Director, International Film
rich overlays of colour primaries for making from the art school studio. The art and kitchen table are densely superim- warily. Dialogue and voice-over were
ting is largely imitated from the avant- makers on a semi-annual basis, unless other-
Festival Rotterdam
Threshold and Berlin Horse were similar schools were in a state of flux as waves of posed until they white-out; the deep associated with mainstream drama and
garde, up to the present day. David wise requested.
Chrissie Iles, Film and Video Curator, Whitney
to the loops used in his live-action three- new art hit them throughout the 1960’s, colour of John Smith’s Leading Light; documentary. They rarely appeared until
Sylvester was one of the rare art critics D. The Committee shall endeavour
Museum of American Art
projector performance in Horror Film. from abstract expressionism to Pop. At and the glimpses of dailiness in 2
David late in the 1970s, notably in Lis Rhodes’
who saw (and approved) this way of to keep distribution lists up to date through
the same time they kept up a studio tradi- Hall’s metrical Phased Time . Peter invocation of a ‘woman’s voice’ in Light
The notion of the direct print survived in Arts Council of England: Gary Thomas
spreading the modernist message. For tel- supplements or re-issue of the distribution cat-
tion which went back to William Morris Gidal’s Hall is a canny example, drawing Reading, (1979). Sound was disrupted
later professional lab-printed work by Le British Council: Paul Howson and Satwant
evision, plagiarism is necessary. alogue.
and the Arts and Crafts movement of the the viewer by selective framing to iconic and looped by Le Grice in Castle One and
Grice and others, and in the images of Gill
Similarly, LFMC expanded cinema long
nineteenth century. This regime encour- photo pin-ups (Godard, the Rolling Reign of the Vampire, but much of the
some who never or rarely used the LFMC BFI: Heather Stewart
precedes the current enthusiasm for
aged ‘hands-on’ direct experience and a Stones) and to simulacra for the film work made at the LFMC was characteris-
workshop, including such different artists Esmée Fairbairn Foundation: David Littler
installation and projection art, but is LETTERS
respect for materials. As older art forms itself as a projected sound-image event (a tically visual and often silent. Anthony
as David Larcher, Stephen Dwoskin and AHRB British Artists’ Film & Video Study
rarely acknowledged. In part, this is due
lost their appeal, under the impact of the desklamp, an intermittent door bell). McCall and Annabel Nicolson explored
Chris Welsby. Larcher’s dissolute, ripe Centre: David Curtis
to a split between filmmakers and other Dear Sir
and wandering colour, Dwoskin’s photo- mass media, some younger artists turned primary projection, Marilyn Halford and
artists which still persists. The LFMC New prints and film restoration/preservation:
genically crisp tones and Welsby’s insis- to film, video, sound and photography, Marilyn Halford, in such films as Guy Sherwin combined projection with
itself had only the loosest alliance with I am a basket stacker at the Basingstoke NFTVA / BFI Donor Access: Shona Barratt
tently unmanipulated print, struck direct which were largely free of high art asso- Footsteps (a cat and mouse game with the performance, Ian Kerr and Lis Rhodes
video makers and other media artists. Co-operative Supermarket. Four times a year, Soho Images: Len Thornton, Ray Slater
from the negative, all attest in distinct ciations, and modernist in their imperson- camera as pursuer) and Gill Eatherley’s made films in live projection by drawing
Consequently, London Video Arts (later one of my duties is to collect the un-opened Creative Film Services: Terry MacCallam
ways to the primacy of process in the al technology. Each was treated like any light-play in Hand Grenade, also shared and scraping on them as they passed
London Electronic Arts) was founded in copies of SIGHT AND SOUND from all the
LFMC. studio material, in the artisanal manner. some of Annabel Nicolson’s unique through the lens. Most elaborate were
1976 as a separate group. Video had been other sales girls. We send these to under-devel- Thanks to all the filmmakers and other people
Film, for example, could be hand-printed, insights into transience. Their insistence Welsby’s gallery installations for multi-
profiled at the Serpentine Gallery in oped countries for use as toilet tissue (although who lived through all this and shared their
These features distinguished the British stained, used as sculpture, or looped. It on the fragility of the image was differ- screen seascape films with text, charts
1975, and then at the Tate in 1976. It was the paper is not really absorbent enough, it memories and collections with us.
avant-garde film from its American pro- was literally a ‘plastic medium’, in the ently developed by the 3 and 4 screen and documents of the location. Ron
already developing distinct concerns of does help to ease our consciences a little).
genitors, whose films were rarely seen jargon of the Bauhaus, as well as a films of Le Grice, Raban and others, in Haselden also created large-scale gallery We are extremely grateful to Christophe
its own, from real-time viewing to televi- This quarter there was not a single copy
until the American critic P. Adams Sitney recording device. For this generation, led which the projectors are moved and over- works with looped projection and con- Bichon & Loic Diaz-Ronda (Lightcone), Deke
sion ‘interventions’ and gallery space. left in the box on delivery day. I only under-
toured England with his New American by Le Grice, the physical and as yet unex- lapped in the screening, or in which the trasts between still and moving images. Dusinberre, William Fowler, James
filmmaker interacts with the movie. The Festival of Expanded Cinema at the stood why when Polly Griddle (on check-out)
Cinema Exposition in Spring 1968. Six plored aspects of film were as important Twenty years later, the LFMC and LEA Grauerholz & WSB Communications, Ron
Nicolson read by flickering match-light ICA in 1976 revealed a whole new gener- ran up to me excitedly with her little virgin
months later, those same films returned to as its ability to make a representational finally merged in the Lux Centre. The Haselden, Lisa Le Feuvre, Barry Miles, Karen
(Precarious Vision). Le Grice created ation that included Steve Farrer, Bob pages bared for the first time in many years:
England when Carla Liss took up her post image. Lux closed after five years in 2001, but Mirza, Peter Mudie, Laura Mulvey, MM Serra
colour-layers by moving his arms and Fearns, Chris Garratt, Rob Gawthrop, “They have something about real films this
as the LFMC’s first paid employee. With the film collection and key workshop (New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative), John
body in front of three projector beams Nicky Hamlyn and many more. time,” she said.
the American work now available in The aim was not just formal. By chal- facilities remain open as a holding opera- Wyver.
(Horror Film), Raban measured screen Of course I did not believe her at first, but there
Britain, Liss was able to establish LFMC lenging the ways in which film represen- tion. In this sense, with several hundred
space by pacing out the film as it was pro- IMPULSE it was, an article (four full pages) on the We appreciate the continued support of the fol-
distribution as a more sustainable opera- tation appears, the viewer is made aware members as well as an extensive distribu-
jected (Take Measure), Welsby construct- Independent Avant-Garde Festival by Tony lowing: Sophie Howarth, Andrew Brighton,
tion. Temperamentally, however, the of the process by which the image is A similar impulse to direct making lay tion archive of classic and new work, the
ed large scale installations of projectors Rainbow. Yes! even written by someone who William Rallison, Jon Lewis (Tate Modern)
LFMC felt closer to the similarly materi- coded. The visual illusion is transformed behind the ‘expanded’ use of media in the LFMC has not yet vanished. Its history
in horizontal format (i.e. on their sides), knows about it. You can imagine the ecstasy Yann Beauvais (Scratch Projections) Anne
al-based experimentation in Germany, into an experience of time. New struc- early LFMC. The Bolex camera, which was made up of such crises. Commenting
to show panoramic shots of the sea (Shore that filled our shop for at least an hour or two. Demy-Geroe (BIFF) Fabienne Nicholas
Austria and Poland. By contrast, the tures explore and question the passive had been developed as a relatively light- on the period of the structural film in the
Line). However we mellowed a little when we (Experimenta) Margaret Samai (FTIWA)
American underground, from Kenneth role of the cinema spectator, and look to a weight news gathering instrument, was a early 1970’s, David Curtis wrote, “for me realised what depravation would be caused in Vivienne Gaskin (CCA) Stefanie Schult-
Anger through Maya Deren and Stan participatory rather than semi-hypnotic versatile vision machine. Its engineering its rigour is inextricable from the physical
EXTREME South America if SIGHT AND SOUND were Strathaus (FDK) Claes Karlsson (Kulturhuset)
Brakhage, had favoured the personal film state of viewing. Each of these goals produced a new kind of cinema as film- deprivation of the Prince of Wales to make a habit of paying attention to this kind Peter Pakesch (Kunsthalle Basel) Núria
of inner consciousness, or ‘psychodra- brought the film avant-garde close to the At one extreme, Welsby edited wholly ‘in makers adapted its technology to their Crescent building”. At an all time finan- of cinema. Enguita & Núria Homs (Fundaçio Antoní
ma’. Warhol turned the genre on its head, growing conceptual art movement in the camera’, using time-lapse and predeter- own devices. Springwound action, turret cial low, he adds, the LFMC was only
replacing the subjective dream with the Tapies) Juan Guardiola (Artium) Carlos
late sixties and early seventies, charac- mined structure to reveal landscape as lenses and variable focus, rewind, over- held together by Gidal’s and Le Grice’s Yours faithfully,
‘fixed stare’ of the camera-eye. Adriano (Babushka) Ruben Guzman (Museo
terised by “lists, grids, catalogues, count- form and light. Le Grice similarly re- laps, timed dissolves, autoaction, remov- “will to survive”. It was under these con-
Subsequent films by Paul Sharits, Nacional de Bellas Arte) Jim Sinclair
ing games and random procedures” views landscape in such films as ing the lens, swinging the camera in the ditions that genuinely new ideas emerged. MARY LOU GRACE
Michael Snow, Hollis Frampton, Ken (Vancouver Cinematheque) Alex MacKenzie
(Peter Wollen). These ideas, at the mar- Whitchurch Down (Duration), but in a air and single framing appeared in many
Jacobs and George Landow created a new (Blinding Light) Steve Anker (SF
gin of the arts, were an alternative to offi- more intuitive and colourist way. Raban films. Such options for film vision, set From LFMC experimentation sprang a
‘structural’ avant-garde that had an endur- Cinematheque) Kathy Geritz (PFA) Benjamin
cial culture, cinema language and its and Halford were turning to the urban free from the human-centred eye, were kind of filmmaking which was related to
ing influence on international filmmak- TEN YEARS OF BRITISH Weil & Nathalie Dubuc (SFMoMA) Mark
power to manipulate the audience. In an scene in such films as Time Stepping, taken up by LFMC filmmakers in films but finally distinct from the contemporary
ers. AVANT-GARDE FILM Rance (Film Forum) Abina Manning (Video
early film, Castle One, Le Grice used which alternates different axial views of like Lensless, Zoom Lapse, Knee High, films of Gilbert and George, Gordon
Data Bank) John Mhiripiri & Jonas Mekas
found footage of industrial labour and of an East London street, while East London Clockwise (Accept No Substitute), Matta-Clark and Marcel Broodthaers, to
The New American Cinema had powerful A DOCUMENTARY (Anthology Film Archives) Vicki Lewis &
politicians to show that film is a social itself was to become prime subject matter Shepherd’s Bush, River Yar, Colour take a random sample of artists. In their
advocates, including Sitney and Annette Sune Nordgren (Baltic) Linda Pariser
object or construct. No image is neutral, for another filmmaker, John Smith. From Separation, Focus and Room Film. The cases, film extended or documented their
Michelson. In their persuasive and Taking its cue from the 2002 retrospec- (Cornerhouse) Caroline Collier & Michael
in this view. A flashing light bulb in front David Crosswaite’s Choke, a two-screen literalness of these titles is striking. They practice in other media, as it still does for
informed essays, the medium of experi- tive programme of British avant-garde Prior (Arnolfini) Josephine Lanyon (Picture
of the screen also means that “the aware- film of Piccadilly Circus with rock name the process by which the film was artists from Bruce Nauman to Tacita
mental film was also a model of mind. film 1966-1976, SHOOT SHOOT This) Ikeda Hiroyuki (Image Forum) Tom
ness of the audience is returned to the soundtrack, to Paul Botham’s Eiffel made, or the location where it was shot. Dean. The LFMC - in the spirit of Deren
For Michelson, the avant-garde captured SHOOT relates the story of the first Birchenhough (British Council)
actual situation (watching a film) by ref- Trifle, the urban scene was part of the The content of the film can be deduced and Brakhage as it happens - was com-
new forms of appearance and awareness erence to the bulb and the perceptual LFMC’s image bank, although the con- from its self-descriptive title, an idea also mitted to film as an independent art form. decade of the London Film-makers’ Co-
Interview tapes transcribed by Diane Beddoes,
in a radically phenomenological cinema, problem which its flashing creates” stant appeal of landscape was also a hall- found in modernist painting and music. The conditions of making and projecting op. Key participants in the closely inter-
Helen Eger, William Fowler, Rebecca Gamble,
as exemplified in the self-referential films (Malcolm Le Grice). mark. Here, the LFMC filmmakers linked the film were taken to be internal aspects twined stories of the Co-op and British
Darren Green, Gregory Kurcewicz, Roz
of Michael Snow. The title of Sitney’s back to the story of British art and to its The films made at the LFMC were not the of the art form, to be investigated as its experimental film in these years reflect
Leach, Milena Michalski, Travis Miles, Lupe
magisterial book “Visionary Film” also Some of these and other deconstructive fusion of the empirical gaze with the new whole story. It took part in international major content. Here it led film way on the successes (and failures) of a radi-
Nuñez-Fernandez, Heike Seidler, Jo Shaw,
stresses the American avant-garde’s sub- ideas entered the LFMC orbit from con- scientific meteorology in the nineteenth festivals in London (1970 and 1973) and beyond its key aspects as a document or a cal project to imagine a new kind of cin-
Mike Sperlinger, Denise Webber, Mark
jective moment and its capacity to evoke cept art. This diverse movement included century. Just as in that earlier meeting of abroad, while Peter Gidal and John Du record, let alone a narrative. The LFMC ema: new ways of distributing work, new
Webber, Cassie Yukawa
ideas. By contrast, the British avant-garde many artists who made films, notably Ian Constable’s eye with scientific topogra- Cane publicised the LFMC and related had little interest in the mainstream cine- forms of exhibition and, crucially, new
was empirical rather than metaphysical. Breakwell, David Dye and Tony Sinden. phy, so in the 1970’s a painterly under- National Film Theatre screenings from ma, except perhaps to oppose it. Most of kinds of images and sounds. Participants Shoot Shoot Shoot is a Lux project
Here, a film was not so much an illusion Most were born in the early 1940’s, and standing of light and form met up with 1972-75 with regular reviews in Time its films descend in a straight line from include Stephen Dwoskin, David Dye, www.lux.org.uk
in the mind of the spectator, as a con- were part of a generation that also includ- the mechanical apparatus of camera and Out. From the middle to late seventies the Lumière and Méliès, bypassing the narra- Gill Eatherley, Peter Gidal, Malcolm Le Shoot Shoot Shoot website and online research
struction and projection thrown as an ed Le Grice, David Curtis, Derek Jarman printer. The romantic vein in this tradi- LFMC attracted the cautious interest of tive cinema. It opened the gates for all Grice, Annabel Nicolson, William Raban facility at www.lfmc.org
image on a screen. and David Hall (the founder of British tion continues with Larcher’s epic scale Screen, then the leading UK journal of kinds of experimental filmmaking that and Guy Sherwin; the film’s consultant
Shoot Shoot Shoot broadsheet copyright Lux.
video art who was at this time a filmmak- films, which celebrate the same interac- film theory. Gidal and Le Grice were per- explode the classic rules of cinema. This is David Curtis. Clips of many of the key First edition, May 2002.
This conviction emerged directly from er and sculptor). For Dwoskin, Gidal and tion of the eye and the machine to expand suasive and sophisticated voices in intel- was far from the intention at the time, but films, performances and installations are
the art school background of most of the Larcher, film was their major medium, sight. lectual debate and in raising funds from from the mid-1960’s the LFMC was lay- also featured.
LFMC filmmakers. Few of them were while others crossed media barriers into the Arts Council and the British Film ing out the basic map we all still use in
interested in feature films and they had no live performance and installation art. On In 1975, the critic Deke Dusinberre posit- Institute. Through the Independent time-based media. New roles were
ambitions to enter the film or television the south coast, Jeff Keen, Jim Duke and ed a distinct ‘landscape tendency’ in the Filmmakers’ Association, founded in explored for maker, for viewer and for the
industries. Film for them was primarily SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT is available for
Tony Sinden founded the Acme British avant-garde, and he curated a 1974 as a forum for filmmakers and theo- space - the viewing space, be it cinema orretail or institutional sale or hire from
an art medium. Filmmaking had a series Generating Co. for expanded cinema and series of screenings at the Tate to prove rists, the LFMC was part of a chain of installation, live performance or film pro-
Louise Machin at Illuminations. Contact
of acts or stages, each of which implied a performances in 1967. In 1969-70, Le his point. He connected landscape film to campaigning workshops like the Berwick jection - which stands between them. louise@illumin.co.uk or +44 20 7288
new range of strategies, from shooting to Grice and his students made ‘pre-produc- the art of John Hilliard, Richard Long and Street Collective (founded 1970), Cinema 8409; more details at
printing and projecting. These could be tion’ films, or what David Curtis called Hamish Fulton, who had indeed emerged Action (founded 1968), Four Corners © 2002 A.L.Rees. www.illumin.co.uk.